When a young woman accidentally drove into the Atlantic Ocean, a teen followed her in and saved her.
18-year-old Mia Samolinski stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake when she was pulling her Subaru Outback out of a parking spot along the docks of Long Island’s Patchogue Bay.
Anthony Zhongor, who turned out to be a 17-year-old classmate of Samolinski—though neither one of them were aware of that at the time—got out of his car and immediately dove in after her as a crowed coalesced behind him.
“She went pretty deep in there,” Zhongor recounted. “She was banging on the door, banging on the window, trying to break the window, of course, and that kind of got me nervous, scared for her, so I just took my clothes off and went into the water.”
It’s vital for any motorist to know that neither the door, nor the seatbelt in a car will open if their latching mechanisms are submerged in water. Fortunately for Mia, the latter wasn’t an issue—unfortunately, the former was.
The door wouldn’t open from the outside either, but Zhongor noticed that the weight of his body tilted the nose of the car down, bringing the back of the car above water level, allowing Samolinski to escape through the back.
Together they swam to shore.
“She just came up to me and said, ‘Oh my God, thank you’ and was crying,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who it was, they were suffering. I couldn’t watch anybody suffer in front of me.”
Zhongor, set to graduate this year, will be heading off to South Carolina for Marines boot camp with the good graces of the Samolinskis, who spoke to ABC-7 news about their gratitude for Zhongor’s bravery.
“He jumped out of his car and jumped in, and because of that, my daughter is alive and and not really harmed,” said Mia’s father Charles. “It’s a miracle.”