A man had to be pulled out of a car after the vehicle flipped and ended up in the water at Nanaimo’s Newcastle Channel this afternoon.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue, RCMP, B.C. Ambulance Service and towing crews responded to the incident at 1:35 p.m. off of Stewart Avenue, near St. George Street. According to Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, the 82-year-old driver suffered from a medical distress issue.
“It caused him to jettison into the water, hit the water, the vehicle flipped upside down,” said O’Brien. “Given where it was, there were several people nearby who assisted and Nanaimo Fire Rescue were on scene very quickly.”
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Capt. Brian Mowatt of Nananimo Fire Rescue, scene commander, said firefighters worked to free the man from the car, who was conscious.
“We got here, we had two bystanders had jumped the water already and extricated a gentleman from the vehicle and were holding him against the vehicle. When we got there, we set a ladder in the water and sent a crew down there to bring him out,” said Mowatt. “We brought him out on a clamshell and were assisted by BCAS and he was taken to [Nanaimo Regional General Hospital] for observation.”
A crane vehicle arrived on scene and with the assistance of a diver, was able to remove the car from the water, which was being towed away. Mowatt said there was no environmental hazard.
Given that it was daylight and low tide, Mowatt said the man was lucky, but the Kia Soul won’t be salvagable.
“Overall, the vehicle is in pretty good shape, but it has been submerged in salt water, it’s going to be a writeoff,” said Mowatt.
O’Brien said the current condition of the man is not known.