Limerick Fire, Police Teams Rescue Man, Car from Pond
LIMERICK PA – The reportedly elderly driver of a sports utility vehicle found himself trapped inside his car, partially submerged in an icy pond at a section of the Raven’s Claw Golf Club on Par Circle, for about six hours early Sunday (Jan. 30, 2022) morning. Officials said he survived below-freezing outside temperatures and the water’s chilling bite, but suffered from possible hypothermia.
The man, his age, and hometown have not yet been reported by Limerick Township police, who are investigating the incident that was said to have occurred shortly after 4:30 a.m. His predicament was spotted by a neighbor hours later, at about 11 a.m., who called first responders. Police patrols, Limerick Fire Department volunteers, its water rescue unit, and Goodwill and Plymouth ambulances all sped to the scene.
No other individuals were in the vehicle. The victim was rushed to Reading Hospital. As of Monday (Jan. 31) at 5 a.m., his condition had not been reported.
Authorities indicated the driver found himself on a cart path after entering the golf course from its south side on Penn Road. He apparently became disoriented as his maroon-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee wandered along the dark snow-covered route, though the course’s hills, then down a bank, around boulders, and onto the pond ice. Tire tracks visible at the pond’s east side showed its progress.
The ice held up for several yards but ultimately gave way, plunging the car into what was described as waist-deep water and stalling its engine about 15 feet from the pond’s edge.
The driver remained there for hours.
Limerick’s helmeted, red-suited divers and police officers extricated the man and used an inflatable boat to slide him across the pond. Goodwill emergency service technicians and others carried him on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. A Limerick fire police officer, who helped restrict public access to Par Circle as his colleagues worked, called the victim “incredibly lucky.”
Then the rescue team faced the problem of releasing the Jeep from the pond’s frozen grip, to later be taken away by a tow truck. It was easier said then done.
Divers crawled on hands and knees to hook chains to the car, and hoped the truck’s power would wrench it free. The equipment strained to no avail, and at one point nearly raised its front tires from the ground. Dive team members tried hacking at the ice with hand tools to clear it. That didn’t work either.
Finally, divers started a chain saw and used it to literally unzipper the ice with various cuts of several feet in length. The truck strain lessened, and it slowly winched the car through the water to solid ground.
- More than 50 photos of the rescue, taken by Limerick Fire Department photographer Dori Ann Miles, are available for public viewing at its website, here.
Photos by The Posts