CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Two members of Clearwater Fire and Rescue pulled a 91-year-old man from his car as it was sinking in a pond on Friday.
- Harry Hefter, 91, taken to hospital after incident
- Medics removed him from car in pond
- Incident happened on Camelot Drive
The incident happened just before noon at 2022 Camelot Drive in the Top of the World development off Montclair Road.
A 2013 Hyundai plunged into a pond for an unknown reason, according to officials.
Fire medics Paul Sudduth and Andrew Sullivan were first on scene, jumped in the water and swam to the car.
"We responded like any other emergency, but then we get updated from dispatch that bystanders say there is someone trapped in the water," said Sudduth.
They were able to pull open a rear door and get the man, identified as Harry Hefter, from the vehicle. Crews said he was in the back seat as water was filling the vehicle.
"The water was up above his neck," Sudduth explained. "I mean, he might have had six to eight inches of breathable air still left."
Sudduth and Sullivan were able to pull him from the vehicle and get him back onto land.
"It was definitely some work to do," Sullivan said. "But I think with both of us, you know, holding both his arms, kind of holding him up and swimming back, it went smoothly.
Hefter was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.
The medics, meanwhile, are getting kudos from their boss.
"I'd say he literally had less than a minute," said Clearwater Fire Rescue assistant chief Ricky Staslowski. "If the crew did not move as quickly as they did, he probably would not have survived."
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. Currently troopers said it appeared Hefter was trying to park his car when he lost control and went into the pond.