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Couple rescued after car goes in canal

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014, 08:47 AM EDT

Rochester, N.Y. - A couple drove out to the Erie Canal to fish— but the only thing that got pulled out of the water was their car after a group of golfers rescued the husband and wife.

“I’m glad the people were out there and man, they just came out of nowhere and then people started jumping in the water and what not,” said Jesse Read.

Wrapped in towels inside the clubhouse at Arrowhead Golf Course, Read said he knows exactly what went wrong—he let his wife drive. “She was driving and I was riding…mistake,” Read said with a laugh.

His wife Lynn did not want to go on camera—embarrassed and still a little shaken after she drove into the canal.

Read said his wife pulled up to the fishing dock, the same place they always park, but this time the car would not stop. “She was trying to put the brakes on, she was doing everything she could but it didn’t stop it just kept going until the nose went into the mud.”

The silver sedan slid on the wet grass and off the bank, both of the front windows were down as the car plunged into the canal. Read said, “The water came in and I said see you later, that was the best I could do.”

Read needs a cane to walk and doesn’t know how to swim—but that was the least of his problems. Still strapped in, Read was stuck inside the sinking car, so he told his wife to go on without him.

Read said his wife panicked, “She was screaming, she was out the other side screaming trying to get attention.”

Patty Ranieri was about to tee off when she ran to the car to grab bug spray and heard the screams for help. Ranieri said, “I went running over and saw them, the car half way submerged in the water and the lady, the wife was on the hood and you could tell that he was stuck.” 

Ranieri doesn’t know how to swim either—luckily she was part of a threesome that couldn’t have been more qualified to help. She ran and got the other members of her group—a volunteer firefighter and an off duty state trooper.

The trooper, who could not be identified because of her work, dove into the water and freed Read from the car. “I don’t know where she came from,” Read said, “I guess she was on the golf course and she came in the water just like, jumping in the water like she was going down the beach—it was nice, I enjoyed it for a little while.”

The woman dragged Read onto dry land where he was reunited with his wife. The volunteer firefighter made sure the couple was okay while they waited for police. Ranieri said, “It was really awesome they were here.”

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office towed the car from the canal while Read and his wife warmed up inside the clubhouse.

Ranieri, the state trooper and the firefighter went back out on the course and squeezed in a round of golf after the rescue.

At the end of the 9 holes, Read was still there, waiting to thank the women. “Thanks so much,” Read said, “that’s all I could say, thank you.”

Couple rescued after car goes in canal

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