JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A dramatic rescue, captured on camera.
A group of Jacksonville flag football players rescued a man after driving his car through a pond in an Arlington park.
“We all jumped in the water and went there behind him,” said player Abereon Brown.
The video has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and players have been praised for their quick thinking in helping bring the man alive.
It all started as one of their weekly meetings at Blue Cypress Park on Saturday. The game quickly turned into a save.
“It was around 2pm. It was a normal day,” said Sean Battles, a referee. “I was remaking the game and one of the guys pointed here saying there was a car in here.”
It was then that everyone took action to help the stranger.
A white car, with the driver still inside, was rapidly taking on water in the middle of a nearby pond.
The cellphone video captured moments after several players jumped in and pushed the car closer to landing.
Justin Johnson and Brown rushed with their teammates and opponents to help.
Brown said he was thinking, “Save him. Honestly, just save him.”
They couldn’t open the windows or doors. It was then that a man scrambled through an opening in the trunk to help get the driver out.
“He didn’t want to come out. She had a grip on that wheel, so we just sat there fighting. I know she didn’t want to let it go, she was telling us to let it go, but we couldn’t let that happen, ”Johnson said.
“We have you. Okay, okay, “they told the driver.
Eventually, they brought the man to safety until first responders arrived.
The players have a message for the man in the car.
“That we love you. Come here and play with us. We are family. We don’t judge anyone,” Johnson said.
All the men News4JAX spoke to wanted to let the man and his family know that they keep him in their thoughts and prayers.
A member of the man’s family said the man should recover physically.
Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.