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

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) – A Batavia woman is alive thanks in part to a Clermont County Sheriff’s Deputy and a detective from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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

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

“We learned that there was a woman who had a mental health crisis and her phone was ringing in the East Fork Lake area,” Pham said.

He arrived quickly, but the woman resisted help.

“I turned on my lights. She didn’t stop. She traveled at high speed on the launching ramp, ”he said.

The car was 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 my rope, and he swam at least 50 feet there,” Kruse said. “At the time, the individual was saying, ‘I can’t swim, help! To help!'”

The rescue was not 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 counted, Pham was able to take the woman out and bring her to dry ground.

“When Deputy Pham got that car sand back in seconds,” Kruse said.

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

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