It started with the report of an erratic driver and ended with a daring water rescue.
A Humboldt man is lucky to be alive after crashing his car into a deep slough just east of Humboldt last Tuesday morning.
A complaint about an erratic driver travelling eastbound on Hwy. 5 through Humboldt was made to the Humboldt RCMP at 9:13 a.m. on October 5.
Two RCMP officers - Const. Darryl Ness and Const. Samantha McInnis - responded to the call and were just seconds behind the vehicle as it hit the outskirts of the city.
About 1.5 kilometres outside of Humboldt's limits, the older model two-door car left the highway and plunged into a slough on the south side of the highway.
Ness arrived at the scene just seconds after the vehicle entered the water. A civilian had already stopped and was in the freezing water, attempting to get the door of the sinking car open, McInnis reported.
At that time, the water was up to the driver's neck as he sat in his seat, and it was getting higher.
Ness joined the civilian in the water and together, the two of them were able to get the door of the car open, and the driver out of the vehicle.
The three of them were close to shore when McInnis arrived at the scene. She jumped in the water to help move the driver up the sloped shore of the slough.
The civilian, who was chilled from the water, was thanked and told to warm up in one of the vehicles at the scene, McInnis indicated.
Once they got the driver out of the water, the two RCMP officers attempted to warm up the disoriented driver using emergency blankets taken from a police cruiser.
When the driver indicated that there may have been another person with him in the vehicle, McInnis entered the water again, swimming to the now completely submerged vehicle, the roof of which was approximately two feet under water.
She dove down and searched the vehicle's passenger and back seats for another occupant. She had to use only her hands, as it was impossible to see in the murky water.
After a number of searches of the vehicle, McInnis was unable to find another occupant.
By the time the vehicle was searched thoroughly, Humboldt and District Ambulance Service and the Humboldt Fire Department had arrived on scene.
The driver of the vehicle, a middle-aged man from Humboldt, was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the Humboldt District Hospital for treatment. He suffered no major injuries in the crash.
Meanwhile, back at the scene, the Humboldt Fire Department searched the shoreline of the slough, confirming that there was no second occupant of the vehicle. They then assisted the tow truck in removing the car from the slough.
The crash is still under investigation, but RCMP report that alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.
McInnis had nothing but praise for the actions of the civilian who helped remove the man from his vehicle.
"The Humboldt RCMP thanks him for his selflessness," McInnis noted. "He did not hesitate to help a fellow person in need."