An Olympic swimmer soared ahead of lifeguards to save a drowning gay newlywed off a beach in Sardinia on Sunday (7 July).
Italian Filippo Magnini, 37, was relaxing with his girlfriend Giorgia Palmas when he heard cries for help and dived into action.
The former world champion easily beat local lifeguards to save Andrea Benedetto, who had reportedly been floating on an inflatable unicorn when he fell into the water.
As friends of Benedetto shouted to sunbathers on Cala Sinzias beach, just east of Cagliari, the gay newlywed began to drown.
But just meters away was Magnini, catching the rays with his girlfriend, an Italian model and television personality.
Plunging into the waves, Magnini kept Benedetto’s head above water until lifeguards arrived.
Benedetto, 45, had married his boyfriend two days earlier at a ceremony in Cagliari.
Inflatable unicorn blown away
The pair were floating on an inflatable unicorn when Benedetto toppled into the water.
With the waves colder than expected, he was unable to move his limbs due to a medical condition.
A strong wind blew the inflatable away, Pakzad explained. He tried to keep his husband’s head above water.
‘The bather was in a lot of trouble. He was quite frightened, he was really stuck and had swallowed some seawater,’ Magnini told Italian paper Corriere dello Sport.
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‘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.’
A doctor treated Benedetto at scene and medical staff rushed him to hospital; his condition was not life-threatening.
‘I hope to be able to thank him’
‘When I became conscious my first thought was about my husband,’ Benedetto told the BBC.
‘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 has twice won gold medals at the World Championships in 2005 and 2007.
Moreover, the swimmer was also part of the Italian 4x200m freestyle relay team that won bronze in the 2004 Athens Olympics.