Sheriff deputy rescues woman trapped underwater
August 23, 2015
A San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy rescued a 50-year-old Santa Maria woman Saturday who was trapped under a capsized watercraft at Lopez lake, according to a sheriff’s department press release.
Shortly after 1 p.m., deputy Matthew Shields and a park ranger were patrolling Lopez lake when several people near a capsized watercraft told them a woman was trapped underwater. Shields immediately took off his gun belt, jumped into the lake and attempted to turn over the watercraft, but to no avail.
Shields then swam under the vessel to find the victim. After several attempts, he located the woman and discovered her life vest was caught on something under the water, most likely the handlebars of the overturned watercraft.
Those involved in the rescue estimate the woman was underwater between 90 seconds and three minutes.
Emergency personnel transported the woman to a local hospital where she is expected to survive her ordeal.
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