POMPANO BEACH, FL – A Pompano Beach man died after valiantly helping to rescue several swimmers stuck in a rip current at the beach on New Year’s Day. According to authorities, at approximately 5:13 p.m. on January 1, Broward Regional Communications received a call regarding a possible drowning in the ocean at 200 N. Pompano Beach Boulevard in Pompano Beach.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies and Marine units responded and discovered Gary Cappellucci, 50, floating in the water. A Marine Unit brought Cappellucci to a nearby dock, and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
A preliminary investigation revealed that several swimmers, including children, got stuck in a rip current, and Cappellucci and another Good Samaritan entered the water to assist them. The other Good Samaritan and the struggling swimmers were able to make it back to the shore. Unfortunately, Cappellucci did not.
Broward Sheriff’s Office’s homicide detectives and crime scene units responded to the scene. No foul play is suspected. The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death an accidental drowning.