DAVIE, FL – A terrible tragedy in Florida as 40-year-old Greek-American Dimitris Alexiou drowned in a retention pond while trying to save his parrot, leaving behind his family and friends in mourning.
Alexiou, born in New York and with roots in Evia, lived in the Cameron Cove apartment building near University Drive in Davie where the drowning occurred, according to a report on the local NBC television news.
According to the report, despite the fact that there were at least four people who watched the death scene unfold, they did not have the courage – or the ability – to dive into the water and save the 40-year-old man.
Speaking to The National Herald, Nikos Alexiou, father of the unfortunate man, stated that, according to the latest reports, his son probably suffered a cramp or some sudden health problem, since he not only knew how to swim, but had served for years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“My son lived near these artificial ponds. He had a parrot with clipped wings. But the wings grow back again. At one point, the bird fell into the pond and he dove in to save him. I cannot know how it happened. But what I do know is that he knew the pond. They say he probably had a cramp, as he served for eight years in the Marines, was fit and knew how to swim. He also went to Greece and swam. It cannot be explained otherwise,” noted Mr. Alexiou.
Then, the father of the deceased expresses his sadness for the fact that, as mentioned above, the people who saw the incident up close did not react immediately to his son’s calls for help, emphasizing that “only his two dogs they rushed to help.”
“My son was asking for help. There were four people there but they did nothing. Another claimed he did not know how to swim, another was afraid. The bottom line is that my son got sick, tired and found himself at the bottom. Only his dogs tried to help him. When 911 was called, it was too late,” said Mr. Alexiou.
According to the local CBS News affiliate in Miami, Davey said “no foul play is suspected.” Nevertheless, the circumstances of the incident are still being investigated, while it should be noted that the parrot found in the pond did survive.
Carson Ross, Alexiou’s friend told CBS that Alexiou worked as an electrical lineman for the Mastec Renewable Energy company, and noted that the unfortunate Greek-American may have been dehydrated, as he was coming from a long shift at work.
“Everyone says he swam to the middle of the pond like a champion. I heard that he probably had a cramp,” said Ross, adding that he was not surprised by the fact that Alexiou showed this self-sacrifice for his parrot.
“He treated his pets as if they were his children,” he said, among other things.
Alexiou was predeceased by his grandparents Dimitrios and Triada Alexiou and Charles and Mary Maguirk. He is survived by his loving parents Nikolaos Alexiou and Anna Maguirk Alexiou, his siblings Nikolaos Alexiou of Palm Coast, FL, Maria Alexiou of Freehold, NJ, Alex Alexiou of Freehold, NJ, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and many friends.
The viewing was held June 26 at the Shore Point Funeral Home in Hazlet, NJ, while the funeral service was held on June 27 at the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Holmdel, NJ. Interment followed at Clover Leaf Memorial Park in Woodbridge, NJ.