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Smyrna Man Likely Saves Swimmer from Drowning

A Smyrna man helped save a New York swimmer from drowning off St. Pete Beach in Florida.

A Smyrna man helped save a New York swimmer from drowning off St. Pete Beach in Florida. File|Patch
A Smyrna man helped save a New York swimmer from drowning off St. Pete Beach in Florida. File|Patch

Authorities credit a Smyrna man with saving the life of a New York man who became tired while swimming off the shore of a Florida beach.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says James DiFrancesco, 29, of Smyrna heard cries for help Tuesday evening and saw Terry Strecker, 66, go under water several times. Strekcer was about 100 yards off the shore of St. Pete Beach, according to WTSP.

DiFrancesco’s wife called 911 while he helped the struggling swimmer back to shore.

Deputies told the Associated Press that if DiFrancesco had not heard Strecker's cries, the New Yorker could have drowned off the isolated beach.

Sandy Anjilivelil May 29, 2014 at 08:43 AM
Thank you, James, for your selfless act. And also for your wife, who phoned 911. Great teamwork!
Octo Slash May 29, 2014 at 09:00 AM
Lifesaver. Awesome.
Brian May 30, 2014 at 05:23 AM
Make sure when rescuing people in the water, to avoid putting yourself in a position where they can drown you while struggling. I took a lifesaving course. There's a common practice of letting them know you are going to help them, then going around back and putting your arm across their torso, lifting them onto your hip as you swim sideways. Don't let them face you or they may try to climb you, pushing you under. You should learn how to block holds as well.

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