CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - The family of an 8-year old North Port boy is calling him a hero. Owen DeMaio saved his little cousin who almost drowned in their grandmother's pool. Wink News spoke to the second grader who says despite his quick thinking, he thought he was too late.
According to Owen's dad, Mike DeMiao, on Easter Sunday his three sons Owen, Liam and Jude were in the backyard of the Port Charlotte home while their three-year old Autistic cousin, Benjamin, was playing in the lanai.
"He was kinda in the back porch watching his older cousins play and kinda staring longingly at them, doing his thing on the back porch when he broke through the screen," said Mike DeMaio.
It only took a few seconds before DeMaio says Ben fell in the pool and was fighting to stay afloat.
That's when Owen sprang into action.
"He jumped in after him, because in his words, he didn't want to be too late. he knew that his uncle was coming but didn't know if he'd make it in time," said his father.
"I lifted him above me and Ben was on top of the water trying get water out of his nose and mouth and then that's when my uncle pulled us both out," Owen said.
Even after the heroic rescue, Owen had no idea he had saved the day.
"I felt pretty happy but sad at the same time because I thought my cousin was hurt, but I was happy because I got him out of the water," he said.
Owen's father says he couldn't be more proud of his brave little boy.
"To see your son do something that selfless. I can't explain it. It's a wonderful feeling," he said.
According to the Florida Department of Health, for kids ages 1-4, drowning is the leading cause of death in the state.