‘The world needs to know’: Young heroes honored for ocean rescue
A young woman and young man in Massachusetts have been officially recognized for their heroism after they saved five children who were caught in a rip current.
The water off Long Beach, which is on the Gloucester-Rockport line, can be relentless.
Corrie Luongo said her three children and two of her children’s cousins had to be rescued from the water there last week.
“I was only 20 seconds behind them and by the time I got to the water, they were being pulled out,” Luongo said.
The mother and the five children experienced some terrifying moments while they were caught in the ocean.
“Every time we jumped, because a wave came, we would go out further and further,” said Violet Luongo.
“I started yelling for help and waving my arms,” said Amelia Luongo. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
“I’m a mom. I’m going to fight to my very last breath to save them. But it was getting hard,” Corrie Luongo said.
Two employees of the nearby Cape Ann Motor Inn, 18-year-old Billy Cincotta and 20-year-old Haley Blanchette, came to the family’s rescue by paddling out on surfboards and bringing them back to shore.
“I’m just glad they were here because I could have lost everything,” said Giuliano Luongo, whose wife and three children were in danger.
“They ran out there to save complete strangers,” Corrie Luongo said. “They didn’t know us from anybody. They just did it.”
Blanchette and Cincotta got to meet the Luongo family and were honored as heroes by Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken in an official ceremony by the beach on Wednesday.
The young heroes also received handmade thank you cards from the Luongo children.
“I’m extremely grateful they did this for us, but I’m more happy that everyone got out OK,” Cincotta said.
“It was really nice to get to know everybody and know that they’re all really happy,” Blanchette said.
Blanchette and Cincotta said they always keep an eye on the water at Long Beach because they know how dangerous the rip current can be.
Since last week’s rescue, the city has put up warning signs about the rip current and an additional lifeguard chair has been put up on the beach.