When Brendan Reskakis headed out for his Sunday morning run he couldn’t have predicted that he’d come back hours later having saved a life, as well as getting in a speed workout in the process.
The 24-year-old New Yorker spotted a man climbing over the protective railing along a path by FDR drive in the idyllic Upper East Side. The man then leapt into the frigid water and began to float away.
“There was no one else around, and I ran as fast as I could to catch up with him,” Reskakis told the New York Post on Monday.
Reskakis then kicked into high gear, drafting another passerby to help him. The two fetched a 3.5m pole from a nearby property that was under construction.
They attempted to coax the despondent man to reach for the pole, but he initially refused. “I kept shouting, ‘Come back to us! Come close to the wall!’ and he kept saying, ‘No one cares about me!’ ” Reskakis recalled to the Post.
But when the man grew tired and was no longer able to tread water any longer, he finally made the choice to accept Reskakis’ help.
That’s when Reskakis sprinted another 400m until he found a couple with a cellphone and had them call 911.
Emergency services, including the fire department, appeared on the scene shortly after and were able to use a hose in order to pull the man in from the River.
The jumper, who remains unidentified, was not seriously injured and was brought to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.