Rescuer of Elian Gonzalez Speaks Up for Life

Priests for Life

For Immediate Release

One of the newest advocates of saving the unborn is the man who saved Elian Gonzalez from the Atlantic Ocean. Recently interviewed by Fr. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, Donato Dalrymple recounted how God used him to "pluck little Elian out of the water," and how God used Elian to bring him to a deeper spiritual life.

Donato was fishing with his cousin when he noticed an inner tube floating on the water, with what looked like a person hanging onto it. The boat moved on in a different direction, but Donato's conscience would not let him rest until he and his cousin went back to take another look at the tube, and found Elian.

"It was actually Elian who saved me," Donato says, "because I was out on the seas in my own life, and the rescue of Elian brought me back to a closer walk with God. God taught me that he could still use me to do some good."

It was Donato who was holding Elian in the famous news photo of a gun-brandishing US federal agent sent to physically remove the boy. The raid took place on April 22, 2000.

Recently spending time on a pro-life retreat offered by Priests for Life, Donato reflected on how followers of Christ are called to save the lives of their brothers and sisters. "The most vulnerable of all are the unborn," he said. "Just like I could not rightly ignore that boy in the inner tube, so none of us can ignore our brothers and sisters in danger of abortion. We all need to speak up for them and try to save them."