A TRAPPED driver’s cries for help were all that alerted John Allen to the fact someone’s life was in danger.
The 50-year-old courier from Manor Road, Selsey, was parked near the Broadmarsh Slipway, into Langstone Harbour at Havant, when he realised something was horribly wrong last Monday morning (December 8).
“I wound my window down and I heard this shouting for help,” he said.
A car had ended up in the water with an elderly man trapped inside.
“I didn’t hear the car going down the slipway,” he said.
“I saw the car about three-quarters submerged and some old boy’s head out the window shouting ‘help’ – it was filling up.”
Mr Allen said he jumped down on to the roof of the car to try to get the man out and was joined by two other men passing by.
He managed to get the door open, but the driver was caught up in his seatbelt.
Together, Mr Allen and a second man managed to get him out and on to the roof of the car, from there getting him out of the water with the help of a third man.
Mr Allen said police and an ambulance arrived, as well as the man’s wife who had been walking nearby.
“I’m fine,” he said later that day. “I feel shaken but glad that I was there.
“If I hadn’t gone there this morning, I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t be here now.
“I feel glad that I did go down there and I was able to help. I think most people would have done it.”
He said it was good to see how everyone had leapt into action to help rescue the trapped man.
Mr Allen’s father Edward, 78, added: “It was a very brave thing he did because he had to go under the water to save him from drowning. His parents are both very proud.”
The identity of the stricken man is unknown. Mr Allen said the man’s wife came running up and called him Alec.
South Central Ambulance Service confirmed it was called at 11.33am on Monday to a vehicle in the water and the man was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth.