A fisherman in Texas recently had a day he will never forget. While out on the Lake o’ the Pines in southwest Marion County, the angler came across a shocking scene. A Jeep Wrangler was submerged under the water.
NPR writes, “After that initial call on Friday morning, it took deputies around 18 minutes to reach the scene at Lake o’ the Pines, which sits between Dallas and Shreveport, La. It took a little longer for a truck from a nearby wrecker service to arrive.
The Jeep was far from shore, about 40 feet out in the water from Woody’s Camp Boat Ramp. The fisherman who called the authorities stuck around, using his boat to help a tow-truck worker get out to the Jeep and hook up a tow cable, Rogers said.”
That’s when the crew uncovered the miracle.
“It was at that time they saw the woman” inside the Jeep, the captain said. Suddenly, what was initially viewed as merely a salvage job a life-and-death situation. The fisherman and tow truck driver helped get the woman out of the vehicle and pulled her into their boat.
“We do not know how long the Jeep was in the water,” Capt. Chuck Rogers, an investigator at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, told NPR. And that’s just one of several questions that remain unanswered about the unusual case.
“The woman was placed in a vehicle to help her warm up, Rogers said, adding it was colder than normal that morning and had been raining. He said it was unclear exactly how long the Jeep was in the water, but that the woman said it was at least a few hours,” according to Insider.
Emergency responders treated the woman for hypothermia before sending her to a local hospital.
“In the course of their investigation, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office discovered the woman had been listed as a missing person by the Longview Police Department in Texas, located about 25 miles south of where the Jeep was found.
Cat Bigney, a survival expert who has taught at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School for decades, told Insider it’s not unheard of for a person in a submerged vehicle to survive hours underwater, though it is rare.
She said a vehicle submerged in water is ‘an urgent survival situation” because brain death typically begins within four minutes of oxygen deprivation.'”
The thought is that the woman was saved by an air pocket. About a decade ago, a woman in Houston survived a similar experience for nearly an hour after a pocket of air surrounded her following a crash into Lake Houston.