Florida Teen Jumps Into Murky Canal, Pulls Man to Safety
'I told him to have a happy day and not to fall into any more ponds'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2017 3:27 PM CDT
An AutoZone employee in Florida rescued a drowning man after he heard screaming while changing a battery at work.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – A 19-year-old Florida man heard screams from a nearby canal as he changed a battery for a customer at an auto parts store where he works. He stripped to his boxers, jumped in the murky water, and pulled the man to safety. For Nic Berry of New Smyrna Beach, it was a no-brainer—it's the way he was raised, the AP reports. His response offered a sharp contrast to the actions of a group of teenage boys earlier this month, about 50 miles south in Cocoa. When they heard a drowning man screaming from a retention pond they laughed, mocked him, and recorded his final minutes on their cellphones. The two scenarios played out within a week-and-a-half of each other.

Berry says the water he jumped into didn't come from a natural spring and "seemed like sewage." That didn't stop him from rescuing the man, who told Berry he tripped and fell into the water on his walk home from the hospital after visiting his wife on July 19. Berry offered the man a bottle of water, some chips, and a ride home. "I told him to have a happy day and not to fall into any more ponds," Berry said. The fire crew that responded to the call appreciated that Berry responded to the cries for help, a spokesperson said. In fact, the crew went into the AutoZone where Berry works and told his bosses he did a "great job."

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