Last-second rescue saves woman’s life at East Fork Lake

Two law enforcement officers worked together to bring the woman to safety.
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A Batavia woman is alive thanks in part to a Clermont County Sheriff’s deputy and an Ohio Department of Natural Resources detective.

The two law enforcement officers rescued the woman from a sinking car in East Fork Lake on Tuesday evening.

The Clermont County Dispatch Center got the call around 7:30 p.m. and sent Clermont County Sheriff’s Deputy Bobby Pham.

“We got word that there was a woman who got a mental health crisis emergency, and her phone was pinging in the area of East Fork Lake,” Pham said.

He got there quickly, but the woman was resistant to help.

“I turned my lights on. She didn’t stop. She traveled at a high rate of speed down the boat ramp,” he said.

The car became submerged in water, and the woman was trapped inside.

ODNR Det. Matt Kruse anchored Pham as he worked to get the woman out.

“I gave him my life jacket and rope, and he swam at least 50 feet out there,” Kruse said. “At the time, the individual was saying, ‘I can’t swim, help! Help!’”

The rescue wasn’t easy.

“It was very dark,” Pham said. “The water was very cold and the only thing I had was my flashlight.”

Knowing that every second mattered, Pham was able to pull the woman out and bring her to dry ground.”

“When Deputy Pham recovered, within a matter of seconds, that car sank,” Kruse said.

Pham says this was the first time in his three-year career with the sheriff’s office where he rescued someone in the water.

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