A Manitoba couple who managed to escape when their truck landed in a sinkhole did everything right, according to a cold water safety expert.
The pair tried to drive across what looked like a large puddle, but which turned out to be a sinkhole that swiftly swallowed their car, according to an article by the Canadian Press.
The first thing they did was roll down their windows, which allowed them to escape. They also managed to save their dog.
“I would like to find out how they knew to get out of the window right away, but am very happy that they knew that,” said Manitoba Prof. Gordon Giesbrecht in an interview with the Star.
“Bottom line is, if they hadn’t done that they would have died.”
Giesbrecht, also dubbed Dr. Popsicle, is known as a cold water safety expert and has staged several experiments with sinking cars in water to learn more about the best way to get out.
The simple answer? Get your windows down and get out while the vehicle is still floating!
Giesbrecht said unfortunately over the years people have been taught that you want to stay in the car until it sinks, allowing the pressure to equalize so you can open the doors. By that time the car is at the bottom of a body of water and your chances of getting out and to the top are very slim, he said.
“Every second that goes by your chances of survival go down and after the first minute they drop precipitously,” said Giesbrecht.
"When you vehicle ends up in the water the event will be over in three minutes one way or another. Your best chance of survival is in the first minute."