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Retired cop dies a hero after saving boy from drowning

Joe Edit.jpg
A retired NYPD detective vacationing in Puerto Rico saved a young boy from drowning — but was then tragically swept out to sea as his horrified wife and kids looked on.

The body of José Rosario, 44, washed ashore Monday, two days after his heroic effort — and not far from where he’d rescued another child three years earlier, relatives told The Post.

“He really died a hero. He didn’t think twice about it. Once a cop, always a cop,’’ said his grieving sister, Helen Rosario.

His final act occurred after he spotted a 12-year-old boy struggling to stay afloat in the choppy waters off Playa de Jobos, relatives said.

“He got the little boy onto a rock that he could hold onto,” recalled Rosario’s stepdaughter, Leshia Chen. “And the boy was then telling him to ‘Grab onto me!’

“But my stepfather didn’t want to grab onto him, fearing the boy would lose his grip. That’s when another wave hit and my stepfather got pulled out further.”

Rosario’s wife and two children watched him drift off, relatives said.

“Hey everyone, so today my dad, Joe Rosario, …. the most amazing person in the world who would do anything for anyone and has the biggest heart, went missing,” his daughter Anais wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post shortly after her father vanished in the current.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen and if he’s still out there or not but no matter what he is a hero and always has been.

“He was my best friend and I’m going to keep praying and hope for the best. But just so you know dad, wherever you are I love you so much and I’m gonna keep making you proud I promise,” she said.

His family noted Rosario had saved another little boy about a mile from the same spot several years ago.


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