70-year old Lou Rosso and his wife Julie were settling in on the beach to watch the fireworks around 8:30 p.m. Monday night when something made him look out to the ocean.
That's where he saw two children struggling about 100 yards off the beach.
"The one little girl, I could hear her, she was waving her hands 'help me, help me,'" Lou recalled.
Without hesitation, Lou ran into the surf.
He was exhausted by the time he got to the kids.
The 12-year-old boy and the 10-year-old girl grabbed onto him.
"I went right under and I had to swim under them...where I could direct them towards shore and keep pushing on their back," Lou said.
By the time fire rescue arrived, Lou was in deep trouble himself.
"I was pretty close to passing out; I had taken water on and it was a tough situation," Lou said.
When they dragged Lou up onto the beach, his wife thought it was over.
"It was really scary because he looked like he was gone," Julie said.
Lou was given CPR on the beach and spent the night at the hospital.
He and the children are all fine now.
He says he wouldn't hesitate to do it again, even though he almost didn't make it.
Only now has it sunk in for Lou how close all three of them came to being swallowed up by the ocean. He shies away from the term "hero", but his wife doesn't.
"I think he's absolutely a hero and we're all very, very proud of him," Julie said.