Unsung Hero Rescues Three People in Two Days
"He didn't want any thanks," Lt. Joel Granata said to describe Gus Hertz' second water rescue.
When 74-year-old Rodney Tyoe, of St. Petersburg, lost control of his ultralight plane on Thursday afternoon, Gus Hertz was in the right place at the right time, again. The crash happened around noon just west of the Skyway Bridge.
Hertz was fishing in a boat nearby, witnessed the crash, drove over and plucked the pilot and his 55-year-old passenger Gina Zimmerman from the overturned plane.
Just 24 hours earlier, Hertz of Roanoke, Va., also happened to see a car crash occur from the window of his condominium off the Isla Key Bridge on 54th Ave S. Around 10:30 Wednesday morning he witnessed the driver of a BMW veer off the road, over the seawall and into Boca Ciega Bay. Hertz and fisherman Kevin Daly, of St. Petersburg, pulled the trapped driver from the submerged car.
Following Hertz's water rescue today, the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team picked up the pilot and his passenger and brought them to O'Neill's Marina.
Lt. Joel Granata, Deputy Fire Marshall, says Hertz did not stay long at O'Neill's Marina after today's plane crash. "He didn't want any thanks," Granata said.
Granata calls the coincidence remarkable and says St. Pete Fire & Rescue will honor Hertz with a "Citizens Heroic Award" in November.
"He's a hero in our eyes," Granata said.