Good Samaritan comes to the rescue — two days in a row

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

A Virginia man vacationing in the Tampa Bay area came to strangers' rescue twice this week.

On Wednesday, Gus Hertz, 37, and another man pulled a man from the water after a BMW veered off the road and into the gulf near Key Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Paramedics transported the driver, who had gone into diabetic shock, to the Palms of Pasadena Hospital. He is in stable condition.

Hertz had witnessed the accident from his nearby condo.

The next day, Hertz went fishing. This time, he witnessed an ultralight aircraft flip over and crash tail-first into the Gulf of Mexico.

Without hesitating, Hertz called 911, then used his fishing boat to reach the pilot, 74-year-old Rodney Tyoe, and his passenger, Gina Zimmerman, 55. The fisherman then pulled the crash victims out of the water to safety.

Both Tyoe and Zimmerman suffered minor injuries and are "in good shape," Tyoe said.

Hertz shrugged off any "hero" talk:

"I pulled people out of the water. I gave them a boat ride," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "I was in the right place at the right time. ... It was luck. Pure coincidence."

Leuitenant Joel Granata of the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue said that Hertz was just happy to help:

"He said he's just glad to help, he's down here on vacation for the summer, he barely took a thank you and just went ahead and left."

"Bless his heart. He seems to be in the right place at the right time," said Tyoe's daughter, Juanita Baker. "Tell him, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'"

Hertz will be honoured with a "Citizen's Heroic Award" for his role in the two rescues this November.