A Canadian woman who was rescued after her car sank through an iced river this weekend is facing severe criticism for taking a smiling selfie while her life was in danger.
Residents near Ottawa’s Rideau River used kayaks and ropes to pull the woman out of the river – but not before she took a picture on top of her sinking car.
Ottawa police officials said the car went through the ice in the south end of the river in the suburb of Manotick around 4.30pm on Sunday.
The car was being driven on the frozen river, according to witnesses, who said that it went through the ice and cold water, reported CTV News.
On seeing the driver climb on top of the vehicle as it slowly sank into the water, nearby locals rushed to rescue her. A video showed residents dragging a kayak through the ice. The driver can be seen grabbing the kayak while another resident pulled her out of the ice water.
But while she was waiting for help, the woman seemed to be unfazed by the danger she was in and took a smiling selfie.
Ottawa resident Lynda Douglas shared a photo of the scene on Twitter. She snapped the image while on the phone with 911.
“Thankfully no injuries and an amazing job by local residents saving the driver by using a kayak and quick safe thinking. Another reminder that ‘No Ice Is Safe Ice’. Please use extreme caution this winter season!” the police department said in a tweet.
A witness at the spot said he was amazed at how everything worked out perfectly.
“So luckily one of my other neighbours, Rob Crober, had a rope that he had got, so he ran back to his place to grab one of his kayaks off his kayak rack,” Zachary King said. He was untangling the rope while the neighbour got back, after which they tied the rope to the kayak and “then just got it out to here”, he said.
“It’s like everything worked out perfectly. Got her on the kayak, pulled her in. And as soon as we pulled her in, the car went under. Fully.”
The woman driving the car has been charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada, the police said.
It added: “The vehicle is still in the river and could pose as a hazard for curious onlookers venturing out on the ice.”
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