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Water rescue training becomes reality when car goes into Maryland river during exercise

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Nov 17, 2021

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — A water rescue exercise became an actual rescue mission when a man drove into the Susquehanna River where Maryland crews were training Sunday.

Harford County volunteer firefighters were practicing when the man’s vehicle went into the water and started sinking, according to the Susquehanna Hose Company. It was all caught on video by a production crew that was filming the exercise for a firefighter recruitment video.

"As we were pulling the kayak back onshore and getting everything set up for some other footage they wanted to get of the boat, a car ran right into the bay at the park,” Susquehanna Hose Company Captain Marty Walsh told WBAL.

The fire department’s training became reality and the team jumped into action. They broke a window to get to the frightened man inside the car.

"He was, I mean, his eyes were wide. As soon as I got into the water and I'm looking at him through his door window, he was just in a state of shock, unbelief that this had happened,” said Walsh.

With the car sinking fast, the crew worked together to pull the man out of the vehicle before he was assessed on dry land and taken to an area hospital.

The first responders were in the right place at the right time.

"Everything added up. Everything worked out well. It's just like we train and in real life, we made it happen," said Walsh.

Fortunately, the man is expected to make a full recovery, WBAL reports.