During an outing on the lake, a Florida father drowned while preventing his friend’s son from drowning.
Adem Qorri, a 40-year-old native of Kosovo, was on a boat with his friend Dale Furness and their children at Anclote River Park when Furness’ son Carson, 6, was swept away by a riptide.
Recalling the incident, Furness’ wife, Mallory Hutchinson said “I received pictures from my son of the water and the starfish they caught. They decided they were going to go to Anclote Island and let the boys play on the beach.”
The boys were swimming and didn’t understand how close to danger they were until it was too late.
“I guess my younger one got to the ledge where the sandbar dropped off,” said Hutchinson. “My older one tried grabbing him and pulling him back, and he couldn’t reach him. And then he got stuck in the riptide.”
Furness, and Qorri raced to rescue them.
Two of the boys were brought to safety thanks to Furness and passing boaters while Qorri passed out while attempting to save Carson from drowning.
Soon after, Qorri was plucked from the water by a passing boater. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
“Adem Qorri passed away a hero and drowned in the ocean while saving a kid” read a message on A GoFundMe set up on behalf of the man’s family.
“My six-year-old, he saved his life,” Hutchinson said of Qorri. “I can’t even put into words my gratitude,”
“I would say he would do it again over and over and over, and he wouldn’t think about it,” said Blerta, Qorri’s widow. “And I’m glad actually he did it and that he is a hero now.”
In the late 1990s, Qorri, who owned an auto shop in New Port Richey, fled the Balkan turmoil and arrived in America.