Police: Newton Falls City employee helps save girls from rip cur - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Police: Newton Falls City employee helps save girls from rip current

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A Newton Falls city employee is being hailed as a hero for helping save two girls who nearly drowned on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

In a Facebook post, Newton Falls Police Chief Gene Fixler recognizes John Spelich, who is part of the Municipal Court Building Security Team and a former corrections officer for the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department.

Fixler says Spelich and his cousin Greg Keister were vacationing on a condo balcony in Pine Knolls Shores, North Carolina on the afternoon of May 30th, when they heard screams for help coming from the shore.

Police Chief Ryan Thompson of the Pine Knolls Shores Police Dept, told Chief Fixler that the two men spotted two girls caught in a rip current.

Spelich and his cousin rescued the girls, who were visiting North Carolina from Tennessee with family as part of a high school graduation celebration.

According to Chief Thompson, both Spelich and his cousin were already showering off when local police and fire rescue crews arrived.

Neither of the girls was injured, according to police.

“Chief Thompson firmly believes that had it not been for the actions, taken without hesitation for their own lives and personal safety, there may have been a completely different outcome,” writes Fixler.

Fixler isn't the only person praising the men's actions. The Pine Knolls Shores Police Facebook page posted the following message:

We celebrate these two heroes!

John Spellich and Greg Keister heard two young girls screaming for help in the ocean. The girls were caught in a rip current in front of Maritime West in PKS. The two didn’t hesitate and went in the water, at risk to their own lives, and were able to rescue the two girls before first responders arrived.

The two young girls were rescued without sustaining any injuries.

Thank you Mr. Spellich and Mr. Keister!!

Rip currents are a major concern for first responders in the resort town. Just two weeks before the rescue, Pink Knoll Shores Fire & EMS posted a warning about the narrow, fast-moving channels of water that can swiftly carry swimmers out to sea.

According to the News & Observer, five people died in rip currents along North Carolina beaches in June and July of last year.

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