Island Breeze Casino Cruise engineer rescues man in Port of Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An engineer aboard the Island Breeze Casino in the Port of Palm Beach went above the call of duty on Thursday and rescued a man when he fell off of a sailboat.

"It happened right between Peanut Island and the port," engineer Lucas Abolafia said.

Abolafia says an elderly man fell off of a sailboat and no one on the boat noticed. The man began struggling in the water.

"We saw the boat actually go over him and that was our major concern...would the boat or the propellers hit him," Abolafia said.

Abolafia is a former firefighter and Coast Guard veteran.

He dove into the water and swam nearly one hundred yards to rescue the man.

"I took a life jacket with me and put it under his chest and flipped him over and used that to pull him over here," Abolafia said.

The current was strong and a nearby cruise ship was about to depart, but they made it to shore safely.

"You see someone in the water and there is no real second guessing yourself. It is what you would want someone to do for you and you just need to get the job done," Abolafia said.

Abolafia says the elderly man was in shock, but is expected to be okay.

 


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