EVERETT — A woman spent more than 25 minutes in a car submerged in water while crews worked to rescue her Saturday morning.
At 5:25 a.m., firefighters from Lake Stevens and Everett responded to a call about a car rolled over in a ditch at the intersection of Home Acres Road and 51st Avenue SE, on Ebey Island.
When crews arrived, they found the car was upside down and three-quarters under water.
A rescue swimmer with Lake Stevens Fire broke the passenger side window and found there was a woman, possibly in her 40s, inside.
Her leg was stuck and she couldn’t get out on her own. She had found a small pocket of air toward the back where she could breathe.
Getting to her would take time — the fire department had never rescued someone from a car under water before, said Heather Chadwick, a spokeswoman representing Lake Stevens Fire.
The teams from Lake Stevens and Everett were joined by personnel from Marysville Fire, Snohomish County Fire District 4 and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
“This was a pretty complex call,” Chadwick said.
The water was cold, too, between 40 and 45 degrees. The swimmer had to take a break after a few minutes to warm up, Chadwick said.
Eventually, the crew cut off the back door to get the woman out of the car. They immediately transported her to a hospital to be treated for extreme hypothermia.
The swimmer was also taken to a hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia.
The rescue took 25 minutes. It’s unclear how long the woman was in the water or the extent of her injuries, Chadwick said.
“She could’ve been in there quite a long time,” she said. “With the water that cold, she’s pretty lucky.”