Durban woman tells of being saved by 'guardian angel' from sinking car

2016-07-26 18:08
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PICS: Weather plays havoc in SA

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Durban - A mother of three who nearly drowned during Durban's torrential rains on Monday says she has a young "guardian angel" to thank for getting her to safety.

Shakila Singh, 50, a librarian at the Ballito Library, was saved in the nick of time after a young man pulled her from her sinking Hyundai i20.

Speaking to News24, Singh said her near death experience began when she went to fetch her daughter from work in Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia.

"I work in La Mercy, I drove on the M4. I was driving when the storm was quite intense."

Singh said she took the off-ramp to go under the bridge to La Lucia.

"As I approached the bridge, the water level was extremely low. It was not one of those things where you are sure that you can cross it. It did not look threatening at all."

No control of car

PICS: Weather plays havoc in SA

However, as Singh began was crossing the bridge, the water rapidly began rising.

"As I reversed, my car stalled. And then the water picked the car up. Don't ask me where this water came from. In a few seconds it suddenly increased. I had no control of the car, I could not go forward or backward. The car waded around the water."

She said the car became buoyant and hit the bridge on the left and right sides.

"All I know is that I had put my hand out the window asking people to help me. People seemed so far away from me. This water just filled up right to the end of the road and people could not come closer."

Singh said people had told her to remain calm, something she found difficult to do as her car began filling with water.

"How do you stay calm when the car is filling up with water from underneath? God was watching over me though, because there was a young boy, a guardian angel in his swimming trunks who said he will get me out."

'It all happened so quickly'

READ: Weather update: Extreme conditions around SA

Singh said she could not open her car doors. When she attempted to open her car windows water filled up the vehicle.

"The youngster came onto the passenger side and said that he is going to open the door. He said that as soon as he opened the door, I needed to get out. It all happened so quickly. I was rescued. I promise you, as soon as he pulled me out of the car, the entire vehicle just sunk."

Singh said she did not have a chance to thank her saviour because he "just disappeared" after he got her out of the vehicle.

"I don't even know where he went to. I didn't get a chance to thank him properly. He was already gone by the time I began looking for him."

Singh said she wanted to thank the youngster for saving her life.

"I am actually alive today because he was brave enough to come to my rescue."

Happy to be alive

Singh said that when she realised she did not have control of her vehicle it was "the scariest thing".

"I just started praying. I thought I was going to die because you are looking out the window and see water filling up your windscreen. It was like a sinking ship. I am also terrified of water."

Singh said she did not suffer any major injuries.

She advised drivers to never tackle a bridge during heavy rainfall.

"Just avoid those areas. You never know what could happen. It seemed safe for me but suddenly this happened."

Singh said she was happy to be alive.

"Any experience like this changes one's perspective on life. I won't take life for granted."

Read more on:    durban  |  weather  |  floods

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