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Priest saves children then drowns


An Italian parish priest jumped into the sea and saved seven children before drowning.

Fr Stefano Gorzegno, 44, dived into the waves in his priestly dress when the children got trapped by strong undercurrents, but collapsed with his lungs full of water, local police said.

He had taken about 50 children aged between 12 and 16 to Termoli, on the Adriatic coast, on a day trip Wednesday. Seven of them got into difficulties.

"He saved all of them, but just barely," a local police officer told Reuters. "A hero's funeral will be held on Friday morning."

He said the priest, from the southern Bojano parish -- a mountain town west of Termoli -- was an expert swimmer and scuba diver.

SOURCE
Reuters

LINKS
Comune di Bojano


32 Aug 2003