Bristol grandfather dies a hero trying to rescue grandson

By Abbey Niezgoda

aniezgoda@abc6.com

A Bristol man died a hero after losing his life while trying to save his grandson.

Family tells ABC6 news Christopher Kupec, 52, was out on his boat in the Mount Hope Bay Sunday. He docked the boat and went swimming near a sandbar with his daughter and her family.

He soon noticed his 5-year-old grandson, who was wearing a life jacket, was drifting out to sea. Kupec dove in to rescue him and that's when he found himself in trouble.

“He was swimming normally,” Maria Gioppo, Kupec's sister-in-law said. “And then when she [his daughter] looked back, he was just floating there.”

The child was fine, but Kupec had to be taken to the hospital where the lifelong carpenter was pronounced dead.

Family spent Monday consoling one another and remembering their grandfather turned hero.

“He lost his life because he would do anything for his family,” Gioppo said. “That little boy was his prize. He loved little Ethan and when he had to do what he had to do, I don't think he thought twice.”

An autopsy is being done to determine whether or not Kupec drowned or suffered a medical emergency.