Young boy saves man from drowning

11-year old Manuel Martinez is credited with saving a man from drowning in New Jersey.

July 11, 2011 2:37:08 PM PDT
A young boy is credited with saving a man from drowning in New Jersey.

11-year old Manuel Martinez learned to swim just two years ago at the Boys and Girls Club. So when rescuers showed up Saturday to this family pool in Clifton, they didn't think he was the one who saved a grown man from drowning.

Dep chief Henry Cholewczynski/Cliftom Fire Dept 210

"I asked what happened and everyone kept pointing to this little kid," said Henry Cholewczyski with the Clifton Fire Department.

Manuel kept his cool Saturday when a 34-year old family friend who couldn't swim slipped on the vinyl lining of the pool and found himself in the deep end. As Javier Sanchez thrashed around, Manuel calmly threw him a rope that he found on the side of the pool, and dragged him to safety.

"I felt happy that I saved him, he's a good family friend," said Manuel.

Manuel says he's watched enough rescue shows on TV to know what to do. When he grows up, he says he'd like to help people in a different way, as a police officer or a firefighter. Either way, this sixth grader is off to a great start.