David M. Weiss helped attempt to save Isaac Yorkowitz from drowning, New York, New York, October 24, 1997. Yorkowitz, 70, was the driver of a car that entered the East River from a parking lot and submerged in the cold, deep water. He exited the car and shouted for help before losing consciousness. Weiss, 37, off-duty city firefighter, was driving on an elevated highway along the river when he saw the car in the water. He stopped, went over a barrier along the edge of the highway, and lowered himself to one of the highway structure’s beams that extended over the water. After walking to the end of the beam, Weiss climbed down one of the structure’s support columns to its concrete base. Removing his shoes, Weiss dived into the river, which was then affected by a swift tidal current. He swam to Yorkowitz, who had submerged by then, and grasped him. He returned Yorkowitz to the river bank, which was a wall in that vicinity that provided no means of egress. Others secured Weiss, holding Yorkowitz, by extending one end of a sledge hammer down to him. Firefighters arriving shortly removed the men from the water. Yorkowitz was taken to the hospital, but he could not be revived. Weiss received medical attention for hypothermia, and he sustained also a sore back and neck. He recovered.
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