Amazing rescue: Good Samaritans free woman from submerged van

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TAMPA. Fla. (WFLA) – An 81-year-old woman is alive after an incredible rescue in Venice, Florida.

Venice police said the woman drove down the boat ramp and into the water at Higel Marine Park around 10 p.m. Wednesday. The car was engulfed by water, trapping the woman inside for roughly 10 hours.

Water filled up the SUV, leaving less than a 12-inch air pocket for the woman to breathe.

Ed Coster, a retired firefighter who showed up at Higel early Thursday morning to go paddleboarding, thinks it’s no coincidence the first two boat ramps he went to were closed.

“I definitely think God arranged us to be here at the same time to help the lady,” Coster said.

The only other person there at the time, or so he thought, was Rob Goodman. Goodman showed up around the same time to go kayak fishing. As he launched his kayak, Goodman said something white in the water caught his eye.

It was the top of the women’s car, almost entirely submerged.

“When her hand came out it got real, real quick,” Goodman said, describing the moment the woman stuck her hand out the window to alert she was there.

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