Woman saves father and son

November 30, 2009 2:59:40 PM PST
Cathy Pizzano says she heard a woman yelling "Help me! My husband and my baby are out there." That was all she needed to hear.

The fitness trainer at the New York Athletic Club in Pelham Manor hopped a fence, kicked off her shoes, and dove into the waters of the Long Island Sound, all to save a father and his 5-year-old son.

Pizzano said, "His arms were hanging and his son was up on his head holding on. And he said, 'Take my son. I can't make it.'" The 47-year-old swam 100 yards to reach the pair.

Both were wearing life preservers. They fell into the water after their canoe tipped over, but exhaustion and hypothermia left them helpless.

Pizzano described how she reached the pair and said, "So I swam behind him and I put my hand out like this and I swam and I pushed them and I told them to keep moving their arms, keep going."

Fellow trainer, Jimmy Garcia and a colleague were now in the water as well. They stand amazed at the heroic actions of their co-worker.

Garcia said, "That was such an act of bravery and courage. To go without thought, out there and risk her own life to save a father and a son."

Pizzano says her own physical fitness enabled her to do what she did. She says her motherly insticts kicked in when she saw the father and son in peril.

"When she said, 'My husband, my son, my baby!' Baby? I didn't even think. I'm going in," said Pizzano, explaining her decision to dive into the very cold water.