The lifeguard and swim instructor saw the SUV quickly sinking just yards from the shore.
"The car is way out in the water, with the man out the window. He is yelling something and the car is going down," said Bayonne resident Helena Bilodeau.
As the crowd grew and commotion got louder, it caught the ear of Anthony Capuano.
"I saw people running and we did the same," Capuano said.
And it just so happens he is a swim instructor. Even a prosthetic leg from an accident more than a decade ago didn't stop him from jumping into action.
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And while the bay wasn't a clear swimming pool, that didn't stop the 29-year-old from jumping in the water on Tuesday afternoon.
"I hopped over the fence and when I got onto the rocks I took off my leg and I crab walked over the rocks," Capuano said.
He beelined toward the victim and helped to keep him calm.
"He was like 'I can't swim, I can't swim.' I said 'It's OK, I'm a lifeguard,'" Capuano said.
Capuano helped pull the victim to safety and onto dry land.
His response was humbling, but his actions got big props from Mayor Jimmy Davis on Wednesday.
"Anthony's instincts and professionalism just took over, he jumped in, didn't think about his own safety," Davis said.
The 68-year-old man in the car is recovering and is expected to be OK.
After an investigation, authorities say it was determined that while pulling over to answer a call and attempting to park, the driver lost control of the vehicle and simultaneously had his foot on both the brake and accelerator pedals. This caused him to accelerate the vehicle into the bay.
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