Fla. vacationer kept busy making rescues

June 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., June 15 (UPI) -- Florida vacationer Gus Hertz said he couldn't believe he would be making his second rescue in two days when he saw a small plane about to crash into Tampa Bay.

The 37-year-old Virginian interrupted a his fishing vacation Thursday to pull the pilot and passenger of the stricken plane into his boat the day after he helped rescue the driver of a car that had plunged off a bridge.

"I thought, 'Oh, no, I can't believe this is happening,'" Hertz told the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. "I knew he was going to crash before he even went into the water."

Hertz, a Roanoke bank manager, was first on the scene, pulled the dazed 74-year-old pilot and his female passenger out of the water and took them to shore where they were picked up by paramedics.

St. Petersburg firefighters were planning a little ceremony for Hertz after he and another passerby saved the driver of a BMW that crashed into the bay on Wednesday when they learned of his Thursday heroics.

"He was just at the right place at the right time -- two days in a row," marveled fire Lt. Joel Granata. "That's incredible."

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