Italian Olympic swimmer, Filippo Magnini, rescued Andrea Benedetto who was drowning off a Sardinian beach.
Magnini noticed the commotion after friends of Benedetto cried out for help on Cala Sinzias beach, to the east of Cagliari. The retired sportsman, kept the victim’s head above water until the lifeguards arrived with a raft. “I just did what I had to,” the 37-year old commented on the incidence.
Allegedly, Benedetto had married his boyfriend only two days before the accident. The couple was floating on an inflatable unicorn when Benedetto fell into the water. The water was reportedly cold, owning to a medical condition Benedetto was unable to move his limbs. Moreover, the strong wind blew away the inflatable and Benedetto’s husband struggled to keep his head above water.
Benedetto was in a stroke of luck, since Magnini was just round the corner. He was reportedly with his girlfriend, the TV star and model, Giorgia Palmas.
“The bather was in a lot of trouble: he was quite frightened, he was really stuck and had swallowed some seawater. When I reached him he wasn’t even able to speak, and it wasn’t easy to lift him on to the raft, so we laid him on an airbed that some other bathers had nearby,” said Magnini about the rescue episode.
“When I became conscious my first thought was about my husband,” Benedetto commented after coming to consciousness in the hospital later.
“A few hours after the accident I was at the hospital when I realised that Filippo Magnini was the man who saved my life but I didn’t have any chance to thank him as I have no contact with him. I hope to be able to thank him in person.”
Magnini was part of Italy’s freestyle 4x200m relay team. He won the bronze in 2004 Athens Olympics. Magnini also held the title of world champion in 100 m freestyle in 2005 and retained it later in 2007.