A 17-year-old Australian boy has become a national hero after he saved a car racer who had fallen into a lake in an apparent drowning.
The young man, who has not been named, had just driven to the car park at the family’s home in the suburb of Lonsdale, near the town of Penrith, when the car went into the lake, where it sank.
The man was in the passenger seat, but when the boat came to rest, the boy pulled him out and saved the young man from drowning.
“I was just hoping to pull him out,” he told ABC News.
The driver, who was in his 50s, died from his injuries.
“The boy was just trying to get the car out and I was just praying he wouldn’t drown,” he said.
The boy was named in a story posted on the Facebook page of Lonesdale-based car racing champion Jack McKeague.
“You guys know I’m a bit of a crazy guy, but I do love my kids,” he wrote.
“We’re just very lucky.
I can’t believe the boy did this.”
The driver’s body was taken to hospital and the driver’s family paid tribute on social media.
“Just a big boy, you know, and you know I always wanted to see Jack again,” the driver, named by the Lonesdal family as Jack McLean, told ABC radio.
Jack McLeane said he was very proud of his young passenger and the boy.
“He just kept saying ‘I’m going to get you out of this,'” he said, adding that he had no doubt the boy had been saved.
Jack’s story came to the attention of local authorities when the driver had lost consciousness in a hotel room after he was rushed to hospital after a stroke.
“Jack was in a bad situation, but he managed to get out of the hotel room and get some water and a towel and stuff,” Jack Mclean said.
“But then, he lost consciousness and the ambulance got there and he was taken off to hospital, which is why we put it out on Facebook.”
Local authorities were alerted to the story after it was shared on Facebook, which was viewed over 300,000 times.
Jack was taken by helicopter to hospital for a check-up and his condition was upgraded to stable.
“It was just an absolute miracle,” he was quoted as saying by the local ABC news website.
“All the other kids that were in the car had gotten in there too, but we got Jack out and we took him back to the hospital, we had him checked out, we brought him back home and we just kept it going and we went from there.”
Jack Mc Lean said he hoped the story would encourage others to help other car racers.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to do something similar,” he added.