OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some incredibly brave and fast-thinking kids were the heroes of their Long Island community Tuesday night.

By staying calm during an intense situation, they helped save a friend and his father from drowning off the North Shore of Nassau County, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Tuesday.

There were citations and praise all around for the two 11-year-old boys – Peter Liotta Jr. and Danny Roper. They not only helped save their best friend’s life, but also that friend’s father.

The dramatic rescues all began when the whole group went out fishing together in a boat. That was when their friend decided he wanted to go swimming in the sound’s choppy waters.

“So he jumped out of the boat, but they got pulled by the current, so his dad jumped in to save him, but then his dad got pulled by the current,” Danny said.

Danny and Peter managed to pull their friend aboard using a rope, but the friend’s dad drifted away. That was when the boys called the Coast Guard and were asked for the boat’s coordinates.

“On the boat, it said the coordinates right in front of our face, so I read that off,” Peter said.

Incredibly, New York City firefighter Jake Lemonda and his family were boating nearby when they heard the Coast Guard broadcast the boat’s coordinates. The family pulled the drowning dad aboard, and then approached the boys – now alone on their boat.

“They were in control of the boat, and were still giving off their coordinates at the time,” said Lemonda, a chief with the FDNY.

The boys’ relieved, yet no proud parents are astounded at how their sons were able to pinpoint their location.

“I said. ‘How did you know what to do?’” said Peter Liotta Sr. “He says: ‘Dad, it’s just instinct. I just went over. I got the radio, I look at the screen, and I said, ‘We need help, and this is where our coordinates is.”

Rob Roper, Danny’s dad, is a volunteer firefighter who was actually monitoring the rescue – not knowing that it involved his son.

Now, both young heroes said they would like to become first responders someday to help save more lives.

The 44-year-old man and his son who were rescued did not want to be identified, but both were fine and doing well Tuesday.


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