Commissioner Gross Praises Local Merchants for Heroic Effort that Saved the Life of a Drowning Man in South Boston

Commissioner Gross Praises Local Merchants for Heroic Effort that Saved the Life of a Drowning Man in South Boston: It was well after midnight on a freezing cold night in mid-January when three employees from Lolita Cocina Restaurant in South Boston heard a call for help from the nearby pitch-black waters of the Fort Port Channel that enabled them to forever etch their names in the pantheon of heroic Good Samaritans. At approximately 2:24am, on Saturday, January 12, 2019, Ehsan Syed, an employee at the Lolita Cocina Restaurant at 253 Summer Street in South Boston, was standing outside the restaurant, which borders the Fort Point Channel, when he heard what sounded like a male voice calling for help from the water. With air temperature reading a bone-chilling 15 degrees, Syed knew whoever was in the water most certainly did not have time in his favor. As such, Mr. Syed quickly summoned two of his fellow employees to help him scan the surface of the channel’s dark waters in an effort to pinpoint the exact position of the voice. In short time, Mr. Syed, with help from co-workers Jacob Lewandowski and Santos Arevalo-Flamenco, was able to locate and rescue a man from the water. After pulling the man to safety, Syed and his co-workers quickly realized that the man was not breathing. Quickly transitioning into life-saving mode, they turned the man onto this side, opened his mouth and cleared his airway. All breathed a collective sigh of tremendous relief upon seeing the man throw up a large amount of water while rediscovering his breathing. The co-workers then retrieved towels from inside the restaurant to help dry and warm the victim. The victim was subsequently treated by paramedics and transported to an area hospital for further care in the Intensive Care Unit. According to the medical personnel and the officers who responded to the scene, there is little chance the victim would have survived were it not for the heroic efforts of Mr. Lewandowski, Mr. Syed, and Mr. Arevalo-Flamenco. To say these civilians displayed amazing levels of courage, conviction and bravery during this incident is an understatement. While facing an extremely stressful and dangerous situation under very adverse weather conditions, all three remained cool, calm and collected while putting their own safety at risk in order to save the life of another. For these reasons, Commissioner William Gross was honored to present Mr. Lewandowski, Mr. Syed, and Mr. Arevalo-Flamenco with a Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery.