Off-duty cop, hotel worker save 2-year-old from drowning at Clearwater resort

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A two-year-old boy from the Tampa Bay area is lucky to be alive thanks to the help of some strangers.

Vince Tropea is the father of a five-year-old, so when the manager on duty at the Sheraton Sand Key got word of a possible drowning in the resort pool, his parental instincts kicked in.

“I sprinted out to the pool and arrived on scene,” said Tropea, who was at the other end of the hotel at the time.

Two other strangers were already at the pool helping the lifeless boy: Sean O’Hare, a police officer from Morris Township, New Jersey, in Clearwater on vacation and an unidentified woman.

“I saw a huge crowd over by the towel hut and lots of screaming and noise and stuff like that,” Tropea said.

He immediately pitched in.

“I cleared everybody away, which we’re trained to do, and took over CPR at the time,” he said.

The strangers revived the boy in two to three minutes.

“I could hear gasping, so I turned him on his side until he re-gained his own breathing,” the manager said.

Clearwater Police Department spokesman Rob Shaw said the boy was taken to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for observation and was later released.

Tropea points to the others for saving the boy’s life.

“I’m extremely grateful he was released today. Apparently, he’s doing well. But, it was a team effort,” he said.

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