Good Samaritans deemed 'Heroes Among Us' after saving family from riptide

Courtesy photo/The Boston Celtics named Billy Cincotta, left, and  Haley Blanchette their Heroes Among Us recipients at Friday's game. Two saved five children from a riptide off Long Beach in mid July.

The two young adults who saved the lives of five children from a strong rip current last month are heroes. 

The title — given to them in mid July by Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken — became known statewide this week when the Boston Celtics announced that Billy Cincotta, 18, and Haley Blanchette, 20, are the HeroesAmongUs recipients for their brave act.

On July 15, Cincotta heard a cry for help as he was working at the Cape Ann Motor Inn on Rockport Road in Gloucester.

Looking out beyond Long Beach's shore, he saw five people being pulled out to the sea.  

That is when Cincotta, and his coworker Blanchette, sprang into action. 

"Without hesitation, they dove through waves on their surfboards and safely returned the children to shore," Boston Celtics detailed on their Facebook page. 

WCVB-TV reported on July 22 that those who were saved included Corrie Luongo's three children and two of her children's cousins.

Established in 1997 by the Boston Celtics, the Heroes Among Us program, presented in conjunction with the state Lottery, recognizes individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is usually presented at every Celtics home game and pays tribute to the heroic achievements of the recipients.

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or

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