Eric Svihovec helped to save Olivia H. Wardell from drowning, Mount Sinai, New York, July 1, 2001. During a late afternoon thunderstorm, the darkness and heavy rainfall of which greatly reduced visibility, the automobile in which Olivia, 2 months old, was a passenger traveled down a boat ramp at a marina and entered Mount Sinai Harbor. Olivia was in a car seat that was secured to the back seat of the car, which started to sink nose first in water about 13 feet deep. Seeing the situation, two marina dockhands, including Svihovec, 21, college student, ran to a point on the dock adjacent to the ramp and jumped into the water. Svihovec swam to the passenger side of the car and opened that door, enabling the driver to exit. As he then attempted to free Olivia, the other dockhand, who had attempted to open the driver’s door, arrived, partially entered the car, and pushed the front passenger seat forward. Svihovec knelt on the bottom of the doorframe, leaned inside, and worked to pull the car seat out as the car continued to sink, submerging him and Olivia. Svihovec freed the seat after some difficulty, then backed from the car with it and pushed it to the other dockhand, who took it to the nearby dock. Olivia was handed over to safety, and Svihovec, the other dockhand, and the driver also left the water. Olivia was examined at the hospital but was uninjured.
75457 – 867575457-8675