EVANS, N.Y.(WIVB)- Following a drowning death and the rescue of two young girls at Wendt Beach, Evans Police Officers Jeffery De Vinney, Greg Szarowicz and Bradley DeMartino spoke about the incident.
Lt. DeMartino, a 21-year veteran of the force, jumped in the choppy waters of Lake Erie to rescue an 11-year-old girl Thursday night.
The girl’s mother, 51-year-old Mary Creighton of Buffalo, drowned while trying to do the same thing.
Another young girl, a 10-year-old, made it safely to shore on her own.
DeMartino, who has an 11-year-old daughter of his own, saw the child struggling through binoculars and immediately jumped in to help.
Despite swimming at Wendt beach as a child, DeMartino said the rough waters and strong current were almost too much for him to handle.
“I felt like, I’m just going to get her and that’s it. I didn’t think anything of it. But when I got within maybe 20 yards of her, the waves were just pounding me down into the floor of the lake,” DeMartino said.
“I can’t remember waves that were so powerful, pounding down into the shore like that,” he continued.
Both girls were treated at the hospital and now recovering.
Wendt Beach does not have lifeguards on duty, because swimming was banned there two years ago.
DeMartino told News 4 he believes Mary Creighton is the real hero.
All officers expressed their cocondolences for her family.