Artur Kasprzak saved seven members of his family from rising waters in their home on Monday as Hurricane Sandy roared on outside, but the NYPD officer could not escape the water filling the basement of his Staten Island home.
The officer and his family were in their house trying to wait out Hurricane Sandy when the home became overcome with water. Though he was able to get all of his family members to safety, when Artur Kasprzak went back to the basement one final time to make sure everything was all right, he did not return, CBS New York reported.
One of the women in the home called 911, which responded with SCUBA units using Zodiac boats and Jet Skis, but they could not get into the home because of electrified power lines in the water.
It took nearly 12 hours for police to find Artur Kasprzak’s body, The New York Times reported. The NYPD noted the off-duty officer’s death on its Twitter feed:
Colleagues at the NYPD remembered Artur Kasprzak fondly.
“He was a brave guy,” friend Tommy Krol told the New York Daily News. “He loved being a cop.”
Kasprzak’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Edward Winski, added: “He was really a great guy, well-liked, very professional and hard working. It was very difficult this morning when I had to tell everyone. It’s heart-breaking, to be honest with you.”
Artur Kasprzak’s father and girlfriend were among those he saved as well as his 15-month-old son.