Two Florida men headed out for a routine day on the water Thursday, and emerged as heroes after they rescued a woman trapped in her submerged car.
The woman, 81, was driving near the Higel Boat Ramp in Venice on Wednesday night when she apparently drove her car into the water around 10 p.m., the Venice Police Department said in a Facebook post.
A kayaker who was out for a morning paddle the next day found her still in the car, and staged a successful rescue effort, police said.
“We are pleased to see a happy ending to such a potentially tragic situation,” the post read.
The kayaker, Rob Goodman, told CNN he’d just entered the water when he noticed the top of a vehicle poking out.
He headed back to the dock to look into it, and noticed the window on the door was slightly cracked, at which point he called on paddleboarder Ed Coster for help.
“This little hand and fingers came popping out,” Goodman recalled. “I started calling 911 and Ed jumped into the water to try to open the door.”
The two men managed to free the woman from the vehicle and brought her to safety.
“She was wet and cold. I held her like a baby to get some heat on her until rescue got there,” Goodman said.
Police said the woman is in stable condition.
Photos shared by the Venice Police Department show the car’s trunk largely visible above the water, though they clarified on Facebook that the pictures were taken after the car was towed to the ramp.
“The car was almost completely submerged and no way anyone would have seen it from the road,” police wrote in a comment.
The department also released video of the scene, including the moment in which the car drove into the water.
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