Firefighter who rescued man in sinking car: "I was just doing my - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Firefighter who rescued man in sinking car: "I was just doing my job"


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- A firefighter who saved a man from his sinking car after it plunged into the Zumbro River Monday night says she was just doing her job.

Kathryn Briggs joined the Rochester Fire Department two weeks ago after serving for five years as a diver with the Navy, experience she credits with helping her out in Monday night's accident.

"I was just at ease because of the scenario, and it was just gonna be time to play in the water and help somebody out," Briggs said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

When rescue teams arrived around 7p.m., the driver, Gaofeng Cui, 21, was on top of the car. Briggs then put on a cold immersion suit and swam to the man with a rope.

"I just had to talk him through, I just told him to sit down...and they're gonna pull us in and just don't let go," Briggs recalls.

Briggs was able to pull Cui to safety, he was not hurt, but was taken to Saint Marys Hospital. Fire Captain Kris Jungels says the water temperature was around 35 degrees, making the rescue even more critical.

"It's nice to know that I was able to do something that I love to help somebody."


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