Nick Secchi is looking for the heroes who saved him and his puppy from almost certain death on the evening of March 4.
Secchi, 49, of Freeport, is retired on disability because of leg problems.
But that didn’t stop him from jumping into the water at the Milburn Pond Park bulkhead to save his 12-week-old puppy, Baby Girl. She had jumped from the car in the parking lot and ran to the end of the ramp straight into the icy water.
“It took me 30 seconds to make up my mind and take off my coat to go in after her,” he said. “Not only was I listening the pup’s wailing, but I could just imagine hearing my 11-year-old daughter’s cries.”
Secchi, who weighs about 220 pounds, jumped in, retrieved the almost comatose dog after a few minutes and was able to place her on a beam about a foot from the top of the ramp.
But he couldn’t pull himself out, and mud was holding him down.
“The more I struggled, the deeper I went into the mud. After about 15 minutes, it was up to my knees,” said Secchi, who was hollering as loudly as he could. But by then hypothermia had set in, and he really was squeaking more than hollering he said.
“Then, this guy came to end of the ramp, reached down and grabbed my hand, but he couldn’t get me up. He was pretty big himself, tall at least,” he said.
He did get the pup out, and his wife or girlfriend wrapped her in a coat or something and called the cops. She kept hollering, “What’s the name of this place?” The guy, he said, got an air hose and threw it to him. “I wrapped it around me, but he still couldn’t get me out,” Secchi said.
In a few more minutes, he said, the woman flagged down a Freeport Police car, and the cops helped the guy pull Secchi out. He was eventually taken to the hospital. But he said the police never would tell him the name of the couple, citing “policy,” Secchi said.
Freeport police would not return two calls from Newsday inquiring about the policy.
Secchi said he just wants to personally thank the couple. “What’s so bad about that?” he asked.
His telephone number is 347-531-7807.