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Italian Swimmers Rescue Florida Couple -- March 8, 2005

COCONUT CREEK , Florida, March 8. TWO Italian swimmers training in South Florida jumped into a lake and rescued a couple who lost control of their sport utility vehicle and plunged into the water, according to a story in the St. Augustine Record.

Andrea DiNino and Luca Corra, who are training at the Coral Springs Swim Club, were among the crowd that saw the accident on Thursday and gathered on shore of the manmade lake near the Sawgrass Expressway.

The driver of the GMC Envoy, Michael Petosa, 68, popped his head above the water and screamed for help.

Cora, 20, jumped in and DiNino, his 32-year-old coach, was right behind him.

"In that moment you don't have the time to think too much," said DiNino, who speaks some English. "I heard him screaming, 'Help! Help!' So we go and we jump.

"It's my natural element. I swam for many years, so the water for us is not an enemy."

When DiNino and Corra reached Petosa, he told them his wife, Anna, 64, was still under water. When DiNino noticed bubbles coming up, he reached down and felt Anna's arm.

"I grabbed her and did the backstroke out of the lake," DiNino said.

Petosa said he lost control of his SUV when another car cut him off. Before he knew it, he had jumped the curb and was in the water.

The Petosas were taken to Northwest Regional Medical Center, where they were treated for bumps and bruises.

The swimmers reportedly melted back into the crowd before the Petosas had a chance to thank them. I guess they saved our lives," said Michael Petosa. "I'd like to take them out to a big dinner."