Rowing team helps save driver from submerged car

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 12:06 PM CDT
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) - A driver was saved by a nearby university rowing team when his vehicle veered off a bridge and into the water.

No injuries were reported after the driver was rescued from the Charles River Monday night.

“It was frightening. You know, I’m thinking to myself, ‘is the person driving it OK?’” Mark McDermott, who was on a jog as the incident unfolded, said.

He noted that a mother and her child narrowly missed getting hit by the car as it veered off the bridge.

“A woman and her child had just walked by. So, we’re talking a matter of five seconds, really, between that car going, you know, whatever 30 to 40 miles per hour right by,” he said.

McDermott said he saw the car’s window roll down before a crew of first responders arrived and he felt things would be OK.

“It was floating, the window rolled down, I saw a hand come out and wave and I’m like ‘Alright, he’s going be OK,’” he said.

Northeastern University’s men’s rowing team said two of its assistant coaches helped to pull that driver to safety.

The crew team was in the water, at just the right moment, when the car splashed into the river.

“Because there was a rowboat going by, like the coaching rowboat, it swings back around, throws him a life jacket, and pulls him out,” McDermott said.

A dive team arrived to make sure no one else needed rescuing.

Response crews worked into the evening, preparing to lift this car, with water up to its windshield, out of the river. They eventually towed the car out of the water and on to dry land.

McDermott said he is grateful everyone is OK and was happy to return to his run after an eventful evening.

“I kind of want to finish my jog, but I’m just thankful everyone’s OK, especially the woman and the child,” McDermott said. “They were the ones that narrowly escaped.”

Authorities are investigating what caused the accident.

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