Grosse Pointe Shores officer describes rescue of man from Lake St. Clair

It was a near-death experience in Grosse Pointe Shores when a driver lost control and crashed in Lake St. Clair.

He's still alive thanks to a heroic officer.

"You can see how the water, the waves are crashing up," said Officer Tim Spina, Grosse Pointe Shores. "Earlier today the waves were crashing up on the grass."

Spina rescued the man who drove into the lake near Lochmoor Thursday morning.

"I could see the taillights were still on in the car which kind of gave me an idea of where the victim may have been," Spina said.

And that was about 30 yards out from the seawall. The vehicle had been underwater for minutes. The driver was able to get out of the car but not the water.

"As the waves were coming in, pushing him in, they were pulling him back out just as quickly," Spina said. 

Spina, a professional diver, was in his uniform when he jumped in the water to rescue the man.

No rope, no life jacket and up against the clock. The driver became hypothermic from being in the cold choppy water.
And it was the latter and good fortune that saved both their lives.

"My first thought was I knew there was no way that I was going to pull the two of us out on my own power," he said. "So I was just going 
to hold us in place until additional help arrived and like you said, you see how the waves push up and it just popped us back up and put us both on the seawall."

Call it the gift of life a couple days after Christmas.

The driver, a local man in his mid-twenties, was hospitalized, but is expected to recover. 

Right now it’s unclear what caused the man to drive into the lake. Police say they'll have his car fished out of the water sometime Friday.