Christopher John Kelsch attempted to save Richard A. Levin from drowning, Port Jefferson, New York, December 5, 2005. Levin, 60, remained in the driver’s seat of his automobile after it entered Port Jefferson Harbor in darkness and began to sink in water 10 feet deep at a point about 60 feet out. In his truck nearby, Kelsch, 45, plant mechanic, witnessed the accident. He reported it, and, taking a copper pipe with him, ran to the end of a dock at the scene. After removing his coat and shoes, Kelsch jumped into the cold water and swam out to the car, approaching on its driver’s side. He broke out the window of the driver’s door by striking it with the pipe and his fist, then he reached inside and cut Levin’s safety belt with a pocketknife. The car submerged, taking Kelsch down. After attempting to pull Levin through the driver’s window, Kelsch surfaced for air. He returned to the car, which had sunk to the floor of the harbor by then, and again attempted to remove Levin. Incapacitated by the cold, Kelsch drifted away from the car, to a side of the harbor from which responding firefighters shortly rescued him. Firefighters also removed Levin from his car. He and Kelsch were taken to the hospital, where Kelsch was treated for hypothermia. He recovered. Levin died of his injuries two days later.
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