OCEAN CITY – A reluctant Ocean City hero got a day honored in his name this week by the Mayor and City Council after a rescuing a drowning neighbor in an uptown canal in June.
Tuesday, July 22, was officially proclaimed Ed Jankiewicz Day in Ocean City by Mayor Rick Meehan and the City Council at the beginning of their regular meeting on Monday in front of a large crowd of the honoree’s friends and neighbors. In mid-June, Jankiewicz came to the aid of his neighbor who was trying to rescue his unconscious wife from a canal between their properties.
In the early morning hours on June 21, Jankiewicz was awakened by loud screeching sounds coming from outside and when he looked out his window, he saw a man across the canal with a garden hose trying to get something out of the water. He rushed outside to help the man, untied his Jet Ski raft, grabbed a kayak paddle and made his way across the canal to offer his assistance.
When he arrived on the scene, Jankiewicz asked his stricken neighbor what it was and the man replied “It’s my wife.” Jankiewicz saw the woman face down in the water and he immediately jumped in the canal and turned her over, only to find out she was not breathing. Jankiewicz pulled the victim’s lifeless body to the side of the canal where her husband was standing, but the pair could not pull her out of the water and onto the pier.
Jankiewicz then pulled the victim on to his Jet Ski raft with the help of her husband and began to administer CPR. After a short time, water came gushing out of her mouth although she did not immediately regain consciousness. The victim’s husband was apparently in shock and could not call 911, so Jankiewicz screamed at the top of his lungs to alert his own wife and other neighbors so that they could call 911.
Police and paramedics arrived minutes later and took over CPR. The victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital where she was treated and ultimately recovered.
On Monday, nearly a month after the heroic rescue, the Ocean City Mayor and Council officially proclaimed July 22 as Ed Jankiewicz Day in the resort. Jankiewicz, who has been a resident of Ocean City since 2002, is active in many civic organizations.
Years ago, he had formal CPR training and still works out and swims and scuba dives regularly. Meehan said on Monday his comfort around the water and his strength for his age enabled him to save the life of his neighbor.
“We’re all very proud of Ed,” he said. “He reacted in the situation he ended up being in and without regard for his own personal safety, he jumped into the canal and bravely saved a drowning woman.”
Meanwhile, Jankiewicz was a reluctant recipient of the honor, telling those in attendance he only did what anybody else would do.
“I appreciate this but it really isn’t necessary,” he said. “My greatest joy is that she is active and doing well. I only hope anybody else in a similar situation would do the same thing.”