MARGATE (CBS4) – Three Margate teens are being called heroes after fire officials say they saved a 3-year-old boy from drowning.
The teens told CBS 4 News they were fishing along a canal on East River Drive around 4 pm Monday when they saw a child tossing rocks in the water a few houses away on the opposite side of the canal.
The teens — Michael Dusek, Johnny Grail and Antonio Ezzo — said they figured the boys’ mother was in the yard watching him. According to firefighters, she wasn’t.
That makes what happened next so scary.
“(The boy) leaned over and all we heard was splash,” said Dusek.
The teens sprang into action. Ezzo, 14, called 911 while Dusek, 17, and Grail, 14, jumped in the 10-foot deep water and swam to the child.
“When I got to him his face was underwater and his arms were out and I picked him up,” said Dusek, adding that had the teens not been there, “I say he would have drowned, simple as that.”
Grail scooped up the child and ran to the child’s house. Johnny said the child’s mother thanked him and took her son inside.
First responders arrived soon after to check on the child. The boy was admitted to Plantation General Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Firefighters tell CBS 4 News they learned that the mother lost track of her son.
“We found out that this 3-year-old was left unattended by mom — left him in front of the TV set, thinking he’d be ok and he got up and wandered off,” said Division Chief Dan Booker.
We tried to speak to family members at the home but they refused to answer our questions. Police are looking into the case and no one has been charged.
These young men are proud to be called heroes.
“We all worked together, did a team effort and saved a kids’ life,” said Grail.
CBS 4 News is told the teens will likely be honored by the city of Margate for their heroic actions.
“If it wasn’t for those three kids it would have been a completely different situation,” said Booker.
Booker added that drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children in the boys’ age group. He said parents with a pool or who live on the water must keep constant watch on their children and have fences, locks and safety alarms in place to protect their kids from falling in the water.
Dusek said he learned a serious lesson from what he witnessed.
“We thought it was messed up for a 3-year-old to be out on a sea wall with no fence and no parent supervision,” he said.