Car plunges into NJ lake, ice water keeps 2 alive for 20 minutes
HAMILTON (Mercer) — A car went into Gropp's Lake on Saturday morning, submerging two people in icy water for nearly 20 minutes. Miraculously, they were pulled out alive.
A white hatchback went off Broad Street in the Yardville section of Hamilton and wound up in the middle of the lake, according to Gary Szabo, the former captain of Trenton's Rescue Squad 1.
Szabo told photojournalist Brian McCarthy that a mother and a teenager survived being submerged for 20 minutes. EMS crews got a pulse on each before they were hospitalized.
"Cold water can be a good thing for drowning victims," Szabo said in a Facebook post.
Paul Bologna, director of the Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences Program at Montclair State University, said it's not unusual for the human body to go into "diving mode" to stay alive.
"It happens more frequently with kids than it does with adults. When the body gets a really cold shock it goes into this sort of protective mode. It redirects the heat of the body to the vital organs and the brain. It shuts down blood flow to the arms and legs and keeps the core warm to keep somebody alive," Bologna told New Jersey 101.5.
Bologna said seals that will dive 1,200 feet in the ocean will protect themselves in a similar manner.
Szabo said divers from Trenton Fire Department helped with the rescue with support from Hamilton Stations 13 & 16.
Mike at the Lakeside Shell gas station, which is located next to the lake near Route 195 in the Yardville section, said he operated the tow truck that pulled the car out after the pair was rescued.
Hamilton police have not yet returned several messages about the incident.
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