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Broward man dies saving kids caught in rip current

Gary Cappellucci, 50, is remembered as a hard-working and generous man, with friends unsurprised he risked his life to save others.
Gary Cappellucci, 50, is remembered as a hard-working and generous man, with friends unsurprised he risked his life to save others.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A Pompano Beach man died while helping rescue children caught in a rip current.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, several swimmers got stuck in a rip current around 5 p.m. on New Year’s Day near 200 N. Pompano Beach Blvd. Along with another beachgoer, Gary Cappellucci, 50, entered the water to help.

The other Good Samaritan and the struggling swimmers were able to make it back to the shore, but Cappellucci was not.

BSO deputies and Marine units discovered Cappellucci floating in the water. The father of two was taken to a nearby dock, and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Friends remember Capellucci as a hard-working and generous man.

“Of course he went in,” said friend Heather Holland.

Loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help his widow and two children.


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.