BELFAST — A quick-thinking passerby at Belfast Harbor helped a man out of his car that was rapidly sinking in Belfast Harbor Sunday evening, July 26.
Ron Stevens, 68, just happened to be nearby when Will Haley, 74, of New York, mistook the boat ramp at Belfast Harbor for the entrance to the Weathervane Restaurant parking lot, according to Belfast police.
Instead of tarmac, Haley’s 2010 Volkswagen station wagon made contact with the cold ocean water, just as high tide was beginning to turn.
“Before he knew what was happening, his car was sinking,” said Belfast Police Sgt. Matthew Cook.
Stevens saw what occurred and ran quickly to help Haley, jumping in the water to open up the back of the car so that Haley, who was alone in the vehicle, could climb out.
Sgt. Cook and Belfast Police Office Lewis Dyer were just up the street and responded quickly, as did Belfast Fire Department and EMS.
The car itself was beginning to get pulled out further into the harbor by the receding tide, said Cook.
At 6 p.m., it was also raining, said Cook, adding to the raw weather. “It was pretty cold,” he said.
“They were both transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, but with low core temperatures,” he said.
A Belfast Boat Yard employee happened to be nearby, and with his truck, he pulled the car out of the harbor.
A similar incident occurred in October 2014 when a Searsport woman accidentally drove her car into Belfast Harbor after apparently mistaking the boat launch at the city’s public landing for a continuation of Lower Main Street.
Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at firstname.lastname@example.org; 207-706-6657