Two Florida men are being hailed as heroes after they rescued an elderly woman who was trapped in her partially submerged car on a boat ramp last month.
After the rescue, both of the heroes later said the whole situation was arranged by God.
Ed Coster and Rob Goodman had never met before Oct. 24, but they both decided to go to Higel Marine Park in Venice, Florida, early that morning.
Coster told WWSB that he had tried two other launch areas to begin paddleboarding, but both were closed off for different reasons.
When he arrived at the boat ramp, around 7 a.m., he met Goodman who was there with his kayak and the two men exchanged pleasantries.
Moments after Goodman had placed his boat in the water, however, he noticed a car partially submerged in the water.
Goodman paddled back to shore and told Coster of the strange sight.
When Coster went to see the car, the two men saw a hand wave out of the window.
“This hand reached out and kind of waved. As I looked in the car, I could see a face. She was trying to breathe with just a little bit of air left,” Coster told WWSB.
Goodman called 911 while Coster, a former firefighter, swam toward the woman to see if he could free her.
But once they realized how little air she had in the car and the woman continued to stick her hand out of the window, the two men knew she couldn’t wait for first responders to arrive.
“At that point, we knew that we had to change the rules a little bit and had to get her out,” Goodman said.
Coster was thankfully able to open the car door with little trouble and hand the woman to Goodman on the dock.
“I’m just happy we could get the door open and get her out and get her up on the dock; she was very cold and wet,” Goodman told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Venice Police said the 81-year-old woman had accidentally driven down the boat ramp and had been the water nearly 10 hours before she was rescued.
Only eight inches of the car was above water once firefighters arrived on the scene, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
The woman was rushed to the hospital to receive further care.
Both Coster and Goodman recognize the divine appointments that brought them to the woman’s aid that day.
“Right place, right time — It’s a God thing,” Goodman said.
Coster, who had tried two other launch spots before settling on the boat ramp, agreed.
“I think this was a reminder to me that we need to lose focus on ourselves and remember that we’re here for other people as well,” Coster told WWSB.
“I feel like God arranged that timing for me and that gentleman to be here together to save that woman.”
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