ST. PETE BEACH – Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies say quick action by a man visiting from New York saved a Georgia man in danger of drowning off St. Pete Beach Tuesday evening.
Deputies responded about 6:52 p.m. May 27 after receiving a 911 call about a distressed swimmer on St. Pete Beach close to the 3600 block of Gulf Boulevard.
According to deputies, Terry Strecker, 66, of Smyrna, Georgia swam from shore out to the swim bouys. When he was about 100 yards from shore, he became tired and could not return. Strecker began yelling for help as he began to go under several times.
James DiFrancesco, 29, of Kenmore, New York and his wife heard the cries for help and saw Strecker beginning to go under. DiFrancesco began to swim to him.
Deputies said Strecker was near exhaustion as DiFrancesco reached him. DiFrancesco was able to get him back to shore safely. His wife called 911.
St. Pete Beach Fire Department treated Strecker at the scene and kept him under observation.
Deputies said the incident happened on an isolated stretch of beach with no other persons in the area and that DiFrancesco’s quick actions likely saved Strecker’s life.