The photo shows Michael J. Manley, Sr. with his son, Michael, Jr.

Michael J. Manley, Sr. was 43 when he rescued his teenage son, Andrew, from drowning.

Swimming off the coast at Virginia Beach, Andrew was swept further away from shore in a rip current. Manley jumped into action and swam out to save his son.

“He said he should relax, not fight the water, but lie on his back and drift with it, just wait until he reached a calm point where he could swim ashore,” recalled Amy Jo Fosdick, Manley’s long-time girlfriend, who said that Manley treated her son as his own. “That’s what Andrew did, and it saved his life.”

Andrew returned to the shore, safe but exhausted. But Manley did not make it back.

Emergency crews consisting of firefighters and a police officer searched for Manley in the water in an attempt to rescue him. His body washed ashore. The cause of death was drowning.

Manley’s oldest brother John said, “I’m sad and upset about him dying. But I’m so proud of what he did.”

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The Carnegie Medal is reserved for civilians, both living and deceased, who “risked their lives to save another.” Announced quarterly, 25 honorees were chosen to be included in this round of recipients. Manley’s profile can be found here.

The other recipient from Delaware was a man named Kenneth F. Smith. He risked his life in May 2014 to save a dump truck driver, James A. Daisey, involved in a crash, despite the cab becoming engulfed in flames.

The men suffered minor injuries and made full recoveries.

The Carnegie Medal, first commissioned in 1904, has been awarded to 9,893 recipients. Instructions to nominate someone can be found at

A father is getting the recognition he deserves after he died while saving his son Carnegie Hero Fund screenshot
Zuri Davis About the author:
Zuri Davis is a media writer for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @RiEleDavis.
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