Thomas Passafiume died helping to save a 13-year-old girl and a 36-year-old woman from drowning, Port Maitland, Ontario, July 7, 1999. Swimming in Lake Erie, the girl was drawn farther from shore into water beyond her depth, and a strong undertow prevented her from returning. The woman responded to her from the beach, but she too was caught by the undertow, and she and the girl were separated by waves. A member of their party, Passafiume, 58, retired benefits coordinator, was alerted from nearby. Removing his shirt and shoes, he immediately entered the water and swam out to the girl. He grasped her and twice pushed her toward shore, then went to the woman and started to push her in. Two other persons responded to the girl with a raft and took her to the beach, and the woman swam there on her own. Passafiume was next seen floating near shore. He was removed from the lake by others but could not be revived, as he had drowned.
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