by Peter Blasl
Volunteer firefighters are trained to save lives, and 37-year-firefighter Jamesport vol Howard Waldman takes it all in stride.
But two saves in six months?
Even Waldman will admit that's a bit unusual.
But that's exactly what happened when he witnessed an elderly man accidentally back his Jeep into the Sound at Iron Pier beach while trying to tow his boat out of the water. The Jeep quickly became submerged with the driver inside.
Waldman, who saved the life of an elderly woman in March — he was making an Easter flower delivery and found an 84-year-old woman who'd been on the floor of her Jamesport home for two days — sprung into action tonight when he witnessed an SUV become submerged with its driver trapped inside.
He made his way to the small boat the man had been attempting to pull from the water
Iron Pier boat ramp, jumped in and used an oar to turn the boat around. In the process he fell out of the boat, but that didn't deter Waldman from his life-saving mission.
He proceeded to pull the boat out to the Jeep and then pulled the man through the partially opened window of the Jeep.
Waldman just happened to be on the beach when the incident unfolded before him, he said.
"He was backing his car with trailer down to take the boat out. He must have gassed the car and he went right down. Luckily he missed his wife, who was standing next to the boat," Waldman said.
Police did not immediately identify the victims of the mishap, which occurred shortly before 6:30 p.m.
Waldman, an ex-chief of the Jamesport Fire Department, is the owner of the Jamesport Country Store.