A fisherman tripped over a jeep that had submerged in a lake. When police arrived 18 minutes later, a woman was found inside – and still alive.

A woman was pulled from a submerged jeep at Lake O'the Pines, Texas.

A woman was pulled from a submerged jeep at Lake O’the Pines, Texas.Marion County Sheriff’s Office

  • A Texas woman was found alive in a submerged Jeep after a local fisherman reported the vehicle.

  • She told police she was in the Jeep for hours before being rescued and treated for hypothermia.

  • One survival expert said it was rare to survive in a submerged car for any length of time.

A Texas fisherman called police after discovering a jeep had almost completely submerged in a lake. When authorities arrived, they found a woman inside who was still alive.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office received the call Friday morning, according to a press release. A fisherman on Lake O’the Pines said he saw a black Jeep underwater about 40 feet from a boat ramp.

Deputies arrived at the scene about 18 minutes later and determined it was too dangerous to wade into the water, Captain Chuck Rogers told Insider. They waited for the towing service that had already been requested to arrive. The fisherman then took the tow worker in his boat to the jeep, which was attached with a hook and cable to pull it out of the water.

“That’s when they saw the woman,” Rogers said. “The fisherman and tow truck crew were able to help the woman out of the jeep. They put her on the boat and she was taken ashore.”

The woman was put in a vehicle to help her warm up, Rogers said, adding that it was colder than normal that morning and it had been raining. He said it was unclear how long the jeep had been in the water, but the woman said it had been at least a couple of hours.

Emergency services arrived and treated the woman for hypothermia. She was then transferred to a local hospital.

In the course of their investigation, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office determined that 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.

Longview Police told Insiders they could not release any information about the case, the woman’s identity or when she was reported missing.

The details of the woman’s survival – how much water had flooded into the vehicle or how much air was still available – are unclear.

Cat Bigney, a survivalist who taught at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School For decades, he told Insider, it’s not uncommon for a person to survive hours underwater in a submerged vehicle, although it’s rare.

She said a vehicle submerged in water is “an urgent survival situation” because brain death usually begins within four minutes of lack of oxygen.

A black jeep spotted on the shore of Lake O' the Pines in Texas.

A black jeep spotted on the shore of Lake O’ the Pines in Texas.Marion County Sheriff’s Office

However, she said there have been cases of people surviving or reviving for hours, particularly when the water is cold. “This is a physiologically unusual situation that is still under investigation,” Bigney said, citing possible explanations such as metabolic shutdown.

In 2013, a Man survived three days underwater in submerged tug boat off Nigeria. The man had found an air bubble and was able to survive until divers found him. In 2015, a 18-month-old girl spent 14 hours in submerged car and survived after an accident sent her mother’s vehicle into a river.

Bigney said when you find yourself in a situation like this, the most important thing is to keep calm.

“Act quickly, but don’t panic. You may only have a minute to get out, but you have to stay focused,” she said.

If you can, open the door. This is often not possible due to the water pressure, in which case you should open the window. If you’re having trouble rolling down the window, you may need to be creative to find something in the car to break it with.

“In the worst case, the car door can often be opened when the car is fully submerged and pressure equilibrium is reached after the car has filled with water,” she said.

When exiting the vehicle, watch out for broken glass and don’t worry about taking any items with you.

In the event that you can’t get out of the car, Bigney said you can use some sort of bag, like a garbage bag, to catch the remaining air before the vehicle fills up.

“This will only help for a while,” she said, “but it could make a difference.”

Do you have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Continue reading the original article insider


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