Florida firefighter swims past alligator to save man from drowning

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida firefighter swam past an alligator to save a man drowning in a pond on Friday.

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Joshua Berglin, 26, who works for Nassau County Fire Rescue in northeastern Florida, noticed a pickup truck submerged in a pond while returning from a routine call and sprang into action.

“Pull up dive in, I didn’t think twice about it,” Berglin told WJAX.

Berglin noticed a group of people standing near a lake, and then saw the pickup with someone inside the vehicle, the television station reported.

“Someone was in there,” Berglin told WJAX. “When we found that out it was ‘get in and get him out.’”

Berglin jumped into the water, swam through murky water and glided past an alligator to retrieve the man from the vehicle. It was unclear how large the alligator was, or whether it moved toward the firefighter during the rescue.

“I’m hearing, ‘there’s a gator, there’s a gator’ just bailing in the water,” Berglin told WJAX. “(The man) is bobbing his head underwater, having a hard time staying afloat.

“He was floating in between both (the) driver seat and passenger seat. Thankfully, his windows were open, so I reached in, grabbed a hold of his arms and just pulled to try and get him out.”

Berglin said the man, who was transferred to an area hospital, is expected to recover, the television station reported. He downplayed his heroic, quick-thinking actions.

“If someone needs help, I’m just going for it, you know?” Berglin told WJAX.

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