Christopher Crociata helped to save Olivia H. Wardell from drowning, Mount Sinai, New York, July 1, 2001. During a late afternoon thunderstorm, the darkness and heavy rainfall of which greatly reduced visibility, the automobile in which Olivia, 2 months old, was a passenger traveled down a boat ramp at a marina and entered Mount Sinai Harbor. Olivia was in a car seat that was secured to the back seat of the car, which started to sink nose first in water about 13 feet deep. Seeing the situation, two marina dockhands, including Christopher, 16, high school student, ran to a point on the dock adjacent to the ramp and jumped into the water. Christopher swam to the car and attempted to open the driver’s door as the other dockhand swam to the passenger side and opened that door, enabling the driver to exit. As the other dockhand then attempted to free Olivia, Christopher joined him on the passenger side, where he partially entered the car, which was continuing to sink, and pushed the front passenger seat forward. The other dockhand knelt on the bottom of the doorframe, leaned inside, and worked to pull the car seat out. He freed the seat after some difficulty, then backed from the car with it and pushed it to Christopher, who took it to the nearby dock. Olivia was handed over to safety, and Christopher, the other dockhand, and the driver also left the water. Olivia was examined at the hospital but was uninjured. Christopher recovered from a cut to his knee.
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