Firefighters were able to respond to 18-year-old Gael Salcedo’s emergency thanks to his quick thinking and save him from his sinking car.
Salcedo lost control of his car when he hit a patch of ice on his way to North Iowa Area Community College. It skidded into the Winnebago River and rapidly started to sink.
Salcedo says he couldn’t see his iPhone, so instead he called out to Apple’s digital assistant: “Hey Siri, call 911.” He was able to then find his phone and the call connected to the nearby Mason City’s fire brigade.
When the fire fighters got to the scene, the pressure from the water current had already sealed shut the driver’s side door and Salcedo was forced to crawl out of the car through the passenger side window.
Once out he had to walk out of the freezing water to the river bank. Lieutenant Craig Warner with the Mason City Fire Department was there to help him out.
“My hands were freezing. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, so I was struggling a lot, and the water was just so strong,” Salcedo told local news outlet KIMT. “I kept tripping, and I had the guy help me up a bunch of times, and I used all my strength to get out of the water.”
He was taken to a local hospital and received treatment for shock. He was released a few hours later.