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Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor, comes to aid of distressed swimmer off Shelter Island

Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo Credit: ABC

Chris Cuomo was boating with his family Sunday in Peconic Bay when he saw a distressed swimmer and thought to himself, "he's not going to make it."

So the CNN anchor and brother of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo jumped into the water and helped the man to safety, authorities said.

Cuomo, 45, wasn't commenting on his actions in a boating hot spot just west of the north ferry channel, a spokeswoman for CNN said Tuesday.

But Shelter Island Chief of Police James Read confirmed reports that the co-host of the "New Day" morning show came to the swimmer's aid off the beach near the Sunset Hotel. And Cuomo gave his own account of what happened when his co-hosts brought it up on Tuesday's show.

He said the man had gone for a swim in a fast-moving current. "He didn't judge the current right, and as he came by us I said, 'How you doing?' He didn't look right," Cuomo said.

The CNN newsman recalled the swimmer said he wasn't doing well, and so he threw him a life preserver. "It wasn't enough. So I didn't think. I just went in and got him."

He said it was hard for both to swim to shore and that he probably should have radioed for help before jumping in. But, he said, "I didn't think the guy was going to make it."

Fortunately, Read said, other boaters also sought help for the swimmer. "Our bay constable was going by and boats were flagging him down," Read said. "When he got to the two men, they were in about chest deep or neck deep in water, and he was able to pull both of them to his boat."

Read said the constable, Peter Vielbig, got both men back to their boats and the unidentified swimmer was not injured.

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