Calgary golf pro wins Carnegie Hero award for rescuing man from pond

Josh Gardner at the driving range teaching a lesson when a vehicle suddenly gunned it down the green, went flying into the water and started sinking.

Josh Gardner saved a man who drove his SUV into the water at the Canyon Meadows Country Club

A golfer is ready to swing at the Canyon Meadows golf club in Calgary. (CBC)

Josh Gardner will never forget the day he went swimming in his golf cleats.

It happened on July 5, 2014 — shortly after he had opened the pro shop at the the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club.

Calgary golf pro, Josh Gardner, was awarded a medal and cash prize from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. (Josh Gardner)

Gardner had just started teaching a lesson to a group of women at the driving range, when something much bigger than a golf cart accelerated down the green.

"I heard a loud roar and saw an SUV coming very fast down a large grass embankment," said Gardner.

It kept going and didn't stop until it hit the edge of the facility's containment pond below the ninth green.

"It took air," says Gardner and landed in the water.

The golf pro told his students to call 911 and ran to the water's edge, yelling at the driver to get out.

But the only sound Gardner could hear was the SUV sinking deeper into the pond.

"The water there is about 12 meters deep. Once the vehicle went down it was completely gone," he said.

Gardner dove in, fully clothed and swam to driver-side of the SUV. Luckily, the window was half-way down and he was able to reach in and fully-open it.

"The gentleman was not coherent so I reached in and undid his seatbelt."

He pulled the driver out through the window and swam him to shore. The man was taken to hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Gardner works as a pro at the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in southwest Calgary. (CBC)

For his bravery, Gardner was awarded a medal and cash prize this week from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

The commission investigates acts of heroism throughout Canada and the U.S. and, to date, given out more than $37-million in grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance.

Gardner says his prize will be going directly into his children's education fund.


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