Tradie who can’t swim leaps into dam to help save couple in sinking car


‘‘It was like something out of a movie… a car goes off the road, miraculously missing trees and a caravan and lands in the water.’’

A pair of holidaymakers from New Zealand said they were sitting in an adjoining rest area when the yellow hatchback came flying through.

‘‘It came in at a ridiculous speed,’’ one of the holidaymakers said.

‘‘It missed our caravan by a matter of centimetres.’’

Despite not knowing how to swim, the tradesman rushed into the water in the hope of freeing the trapped couple.

‘‘I just pulled my shoes off and jumped into the water, I don’t know how to swim but I managed to make it out to the car.

‘‘I couldn’t get the door or windows open and by that time water was coming into the car pretty quickly.’’

After a few minutes of trying to free the pair, the man managed to get the driver’s door open, which helped free one of the car’s occupants but caused water to rapidly fill the car.

‘‘I had enough strength to pull the door open and get the man out but that just caused water to fill the car even quicker.

By this time the man had been joined by Leading Senior Constable Simon Barker.

The duo worked quickly to free the woman and get the couple safely to the banks of the dam.

The tradie said he didn’t have time to consider how dangerous the situation was.

‘‘I wasn’t thinking about being scared, I just did what I had to do.’’

After making sure both the car’s occupants were okay, the man got back into his car and continued his day at work. He said he didn’t want any praise and was just doing what he thought was right.

‘‘It was a great team effort, once they got out and were fine I just jumped back in the car and did a few jobs, just like any other day.

‘‘That’s just what anyone with a good heart would have done … lend a hand to someone that’s in need. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to help someone, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.

‘‘I don’t want any accolades or anything, that’s just the way life goes.’’

Both the people in the car, an 82-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman from South Australia were taken to Ballarat Base Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Courier

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