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West Point Cadet On Life Support After Trying To Save Drowning Swimmer

Mike Groll

An 18-year-old West Point cadet is on life support after trying to save a swimmer from a rip current at a Southampton Village beach.

Police say the cadet was pulled from the waters at Coopers Beach on Friday, and is currently being treated at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Thomas Surdyke was on a brief vacation from his studies at West Point at the time of the incident.

Surdyke saw a person drowning and ran into the water to help. He ended up getting caught in the same rip current as the person drowning.

The person Surdyke set out to help ended up making it safely to shore, but paramedics found Surdyke in cardiac arrest. He remained unresponsive as emergency personnel attempted to revive him.

Janice and Tim Surdyke say they do not have high hopes that their son will recover. They say he had chosen to be an organ donor, and that will allow him to serve others in death as he did in life.