POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – A Good Samaritan died while trying to save the lives of four children stuck in a rip current at Pompano Beach on New Year’s Day. 

Authorities said a man later identified as Gary Cappellucci, 50, was found floating in the water.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, several swimmers got stuck in a rip current, and Cappellucci and another Good Samaritan went into the water to rescue them.

BSO deputies and Marine units say the father of two was taken to a nearby dock, and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies say Cappellucci could not make it back to shore and the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death an accidental drowning. 

Friends remember Capellucci as a hard-working and generous man.

“Of course he went in,” said friend Heather Holland.

Loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help his widow and two children.