Man rescued from swollen Swift Current Creek

A man is pulled to safety moments before the van he drove into a flooded stretch of road near Swift Current, Sask., is swept away by rushing water.
A man was trapped in his vehicle as water from a swollen Swift Current Creek rushed by. He was rescued moments before the van was swept away. (Normand Beauchamp/Swift Current Fire Department)

A man was pulled to safety Wednesday, moments before the van he had driven into a flooded stretch of road near Swift Current, Sask., was swept away by rushing water.

Local firefighters used a boat to reach the driver, who was alone when he got into trouble about two kilometres outside the city.

He was fitted with a life jacket and was able to make his way out of the vehicle to safety.

Water from the Swift Current Creek had inundated the road and the man called 911 from inside the vehicle.

By the time rescue crews arrived, the vehicle was half submerged and had been pushed into the middle of the creek about 15 metres from either shore.

"The driver was unable to open the door or get out of the van. He was stuck inside," Normand Beauchamp, Swift Current's deputy fire chief, told CBC News, adding the man did not appear too upset by his predicament. "He was calm and he waited for instruction. Really good cooperation by the driver."

Rescuers hand a man a life jacket as they prepare to get him to safety. (Normand Beauchamp/Swift Current Fire Department)
Rescue crews used ropes to guide their boat to the vehicle.

"We launched the boat on the far side of the creek," Beauchamp explained. "We used two ropes, one on each side, to direct the boat right on the van. When the boat was near to the van the driver jumped right in our boat."

The man was unharmed, but moments after the rescue, his van was swept away by the creek.

"Two, three seconds — not more — the minivan goes down in the water," Beauchamp said. "We lose the van."

Beauchamp is warning people to stay away from flooded portions of road.