A pair of unassuming but quick-thinking heroes have gone above and beyond to save an elderly couple from a potentially disastrous fate after their car crashed into a Creswick dam.
The couple's car careered into O'Keefe's Dam along the Midland Highway on Thursday but it was the bold and rapid action of a passing civilian and police officer that freed the pair only minutes before they were completely submerged in the water.
One of the rescuers, a 39-year-old tradesman who has requested not to be identified, told The Courier about the moment which he saw the car go into the dam.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE CAR BEING PULLED FROM THE WATER BELOW.
"I looked out to my left and I saw a yellow car go straight through the resting bay area, straight through the trees and into the water," he said.
"It was like something out of a movie... a car goes off the road, miraculously missing trees and a caravan and lands in the water."
A pair of holiday-makers from New Zealand said they were sitting in an adjoining rest area when the yellow hatchback came flying through.
"It came in at a ridiculous speed," one of the holiday-makers said.
"It missed our caravan by a matter of centimetres."
Despite not knowing how to swim, the tradesman rushed into the water in the hope of freeing the trapped couple.
"I just pulled my shoes off and jumped into the water, I don't know how to swim but I managed to make it out to the car.
"I couldn't get the door or windows open and by that time water was coming into the car pretty quickly."
After a few minutes of trying to free the pair, the man managed to get the driver's door open, which helped free one of the car's occupants but caused water to rapidly fill the car.
"I had enough strength to pull the door open and get the man out but that just caused water to fill the car even quicker.
When I looked back in the woman was fully submerged in the water... she would have probably drowned.The man who helped rescue the elderly couple.
WATCH THE CAR BEING PULLED FROM THE DAM HERE:
By this time the man had been joined by Creswick Police leading senior constable Simon Barker, who also jumped in the water to help.
The duo worked quickly to free the woman and get the couple safely to the banks of the dam.
The man said he didn't have time to consider how dangerous the situation was in the moment.
"I wasn't thinking about being scared, I just did what I had to do."
After making sure both the car's occupants were okay, the man got back into his car and continued his day at work. He said he didn't want any praise and was just doing what he thought was right.
"It was a great team effort, once they got out and were fine I just jumped back in the car and did a few jobs, just like any other day.
"That's just what anyone with a good heart would have done... lend a hand to someone that's in need. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to help someone, that's what it's all about at the end of the day.
"I don't want any accolades or anything, that's just the way life goes."
Acting Police Inspector Ben Young heaped praise on the civilian and Senior Constable Barker for their efforts in saving the couple.
"I'm extremely proud of the actions of both the civilian and constable Barker," he told The Courier.
"Without doubt the actions of both of these people have contributed to a successful outcome. The incident represented significant risk to serious injury or death to both the people in the vehicle.
"In a matter of minutes without their involvement it could have resulted in disastrous consequences. The quick thinking of the civilian and the police officer is commended by police leadership."
Both the people in the car, an 82-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman from Hackney, South Australia were taken to Ballarat Base Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
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