Things That Matter

17-Year-Old Hero Jumps Into Long Island Bay To Save Woman Drowning in Car

A young man named Anthony Zhongor, who aspires to be in the Marines, jumped into Patchogue Bay of Long Island’s Great South Bay, to save an 18-year-old woman who had accidentally driven her car into the water after hitting the gas instead of the brake.

The 17-year-old high school student was sitting in his car and listening to music at Patchogue Bay on Monday night, according to an interview with Fox 5 New York.

Suddenly, a nearby car fell into the water with the driver, 18-year-old Mia Samolinski, still inside.

“I just hear a huge splash and everyone running toward the dock,” Zhongor told CBS News.

Zhongor said he saw a crowd of onlookers, but nobody jumping into the water. “She was trying to open the door, first. She couldn’t get the door open and started banging on the window,” Zhongor said, per Today.

That’s when the high school student sprung to action and dived in, seeing Samolinski’s fear when she realized she couldn’t break the window.

While in the water, Zhongor was able to open the backseat and get Samolinski to safety. Neither of them suffered any injuries, and both teens were able to go home that night.

Zhongor reportedly went to McDonald’s after the incident, and didn’t reveal his heroics to his family until it was broadcasted on local news later that night.

It was also revealed that both Zhongor and Samolinski are actually classmates at the same high school but never knew of each other until their fateful meeting on Monday night.

Samolinski’s father, Charlie, offered Zhongor his deepest gratitude.

“The real hero of the day is Anthony, without a doubt. There were a group of people on the dock. They were filming it. He did something about it.” He continued, “She’s here today because of him. A car can be replaced. Things can be replaced. My daughter? Irreplaceable.”

The future Marine has already been recruited to enlist as a result of his heroism. He was not only accompanied by Major Dennis A. Graziosi during an interview, he also received a commendation from Staff Sgt. Christian Erazo of the U.S. Marines Recruitment Center, who said:

“I think they are extremely heroic, that they are exactly the type of individuals we look for to serve this country. One hundred percent selfless. That’s exactly what we instruct and teach.”

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