WATCH: 17-year-old dives into bay to save teen who drove car into water

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:06 PM CDT
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NEW YORK (WABC) – A 17-year-old dove into a Long Island bay to rescue a classmate after she accidentally drove into the water in an incident caught on camera.

The driver, 18-year-old Mia Samolinski, had accidentally accelerated her Subaru Outback and plunged into the bay.

When people rushed to the dock moments later, high school senior Anthony Zhongor dove into the bay to save her.

“She went pretty deep in there,” he said.

Zhongor had coincidentally just joined the Marines.

“She was banging on the door, banging on the window, trying to break the window of course,” Zhongor said. “And then that kind of got me nervous, scared for her. I took my clothes off and went into the water. The dive was pretty, pretty far, so it was just right there as soon as I looked up, grab the door handle.”

The two had tried to unlock and open the door with no luck.

Zhongor had to find another way to get Samolinski out when he realized he could use his own weight.

“Weight made the nose of the car go deeper into the water, which helped the back get free,” he said. “Open the back up, and she was able to escape from the back.”

Together, they swam back to shore.

“She just came up and said, ‘Oh, my God, thank you’ and was crying, that’s all,” Zhongor said.

Charles Samolinski, Mia’s father, said he was grateful for his daughter’s rescue.

“He jumped out of his car and jumped in and because of that, my daughter is alive and not really harmed, you know?” he said. “I mean, it’s a miracle.”

Zhongor said his actions were not a big deal for him.

“It’s a girl, it doesn’t matter who it was, they were suffering,” he said. “I couldn’t watch anybody suffer in front of me.”

Zhongor graduates this year and will head to boot camp in South Carolina in September.

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