Italian Olympic swimmer Filippo Magnini was in the right place at the right time on Sunday when a drowning man needed his help. Magnini, a former world champion, is now being hailed as a hero.
The BBC reports that Andrea Benedetto, who had married his husband days earlier, was floating off the beach when the incident happened: “The pair were floating on an inflatable unicorn when Mr Benedetto fell into the water, which was colder than expected, and he was unable to move his limbs due to a medical condition. A strong wind blew the inflatable away, Mr Pakzad explained, and Mr Benedetto’s husband was left trying to keep his partner’s head above water. His friends’ cries for help were heard by lifeguards, who raced to set off in their rescue raft. But 37-year-old Magnini, 1.88m (6ft 2in) tall, was closer and quickly reached the struggling man.”
Benedetto was in shock from the incident and unable to speak, having swallowed a lot of water.
He told BBC News: “When I became conscious my first thought was about my husband. A few hours after the accident I was at the hospital when I realised that Filippo Magnini was the man who saved my life but I didn’t have any chance to thank him as I have no contact with him. I hope to be able to thank him in person.”
Said Magnini: “I just did what I had to.”
Marco Bencivenga, the editor-in-chief of the Cremona local paper La Provincia also reported the incident on his Facebook page.