When a car ended up flipped in the Delaware River on Thursday afternoon, it was all hands on deck for the rescue, with both police and bystanders responding to the incident.
Around 1:00 p.m., a car ran through the metal barrier on Freedom Pier in Gloucester City, New Jersey. It turned upside-down and hit the water, sinking.
“Detective Sergeant Carlos Depoder, Officer Sean Gartland, and Officer John Bryszewski Jr. jumped into the Delaware River and extricated a female from the vehicle,” the Gloucester City Police Department shared in a media release on its Facebook page.
The officers continued to tread water after removing the woman from the car, and one of them started giving her CPR while they were still in the water.
“They definitely jumped in at their own peril,” Lt. J. Flood with the Gloucester City Police told KYW-TV. “There are strong currents in the Delaware River.”
The woman was taken to a hospital and an investigation into the cause of the accident was underway. Divers searched the area to ensure there were no other people involved in the accident.
“It’s definitely an ongoing investigation, we still have to speak to witnesses, gain more information before we can speculate on what happened,” Flood told KYW-TV.
Later, the police department wanted to recognize the good Samaritans who assisted with the rescue.
Stratis Tiniakos helped the officers and woman get on the boat, then took them to the dock. Michael Natrin, who is also a firefighter and EMT, stepped in to help with CPR.
William Evans took officers in the back of his pickup truck so they could get home to shower and change.
And Gene Blemings also helped get the woman to safety during the commotion — but insists he’s no hero.
“That’s the way I was raised,” Blemings told KYW-TV. “You know, if someone needs help, that’s what you do.
“I’m glad we were there, but as a hero? No. The cops — they were the heroes right there. They were exhausted, they were treading water and going above and beyond for her.
“They were in the water for a good 10 minutes and they worked hard … They had just brought her up out of the car and they, they were holding her pretty much on their bodies while they were floating giving her chest compressions.”
Blemings also said that the woman had regained consciousness, but there are no further updates on her condition.
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