A 61-year-old man was rescued from the Rideau Canal after his SUV fishtailed, hit a lamppost and plummeted into the water late Wednesday night, police and paramedics say.

Paramedics said they were called the canal at 11:11 p.m. for a partially submerged SUV next to the side wall of the waterway. Once they arrived, they heard someone struggling inside the vehicle.

Ottawa police said the driver fish-tailed along Colonel By Drive before striking a lamppost and going to the canal west of the Bank Street bridge.

Man rescued from Rideau Canal

Ottawa paramedics and police officers rescued a 61-year-old man from the Rideau Canal on Aug. 13, 2014 after he crashed his SUV and went into the water. (CBC)

Paramedics say one member stood on the SUV’s roof and spoke to the driver, while another used a pry axe to smash the side window. During that time, the driver was asked to take a deep breath and duck underwater so he wasn’t injured by the smashed window.

The man was pulled from the SUV and taken to hospital to be treated for head injuries.

Ottawa police also helped with the rescue.

The man was charged with failing to provide a breath sample.