MARGATE, Fla. - Two police officers are being hailed as heroes for saving a woman who was trapped inside a car that was sinking in a canal.
Margate police said Carol Ann Brown, 57, was behind the wheel of a gray Hyundai that plunged into a canal in the 5100 block of Copans Road on Monday morning.
"She was pounding on the window, trying to break the window out from the inside to get out, and she couldn't break the window," Officer George Woolley told Local 10 News.
He and Coconut Creek police Officer Larry Christopher were at the scene within a minute after receiving the 911 call.
"The car was about half-submerged, and we could see a white female in the front driver's side and she was yelling as we were swimming towards her," Christopher said.
The officers took off their gun belts, protective vests and heavy equipment and jumped into the canal. They said the water in the car was up to the woman's waist.
Christopher used a special hammer to shatter the driver's side window.
"As soon as I did the car started to go down quickly," he said. "As it was going down, I broke out the back window and Officer Woolley and I reached our arms inside as the car was going down and we pulled her out the back window."
The officers helped the woman swim to shore. They said they were exhausted when they got there, and Brown was in disbelief that she made it out of her sinking car alive.
"She was so happy to, obviously, be alive," Christopher said.
This was Christopher's third plunge into the canal in his 26 years on the job.
"There's no better feeling when you see someone's eyes and they're coming out and you're saving them," Christopher said.
Brown was taken to Northwest Medical Center, where she was being evaluated. She's expected to be OK, but it's still unclear why her car ended up in the water.
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