From press release materials
Seven Fairhaven police officers were presented with the Massachusetts Police Association’s Life Saving Awards on Thursday, 10/27, for their actions earlier this year.
On February 17, Fairhaven Police and Fire Departments responded to Goulart Memorial Drive after reports of a vehicle in the water. They found a Ford pickup truck upside down in approximately seven feet of water, 15 feet from the shore. Officer Scott Coelho waded out to the vehicle and determined there was someone still inside. Officers Kevin Chasse and Alexander Kisla rushed into the frigid water to help.
Officers Coelho and Kisla managed to free the operator from the vehicle after cutting his seatbelt, while Officer Chasse swam around to the passenger side to determine if there was anyone else trapped inside.
Resident Nathan Picard jumped in the water and helped the officers bring the operator to the road. Fairhaven Fire Department Deputy Chief Todd Correia also entered the water and helped lift the victim back to dry land.
As the first round of officers were exiting the 39 degree water, Detectives Jerald Bettencourt and Scott Gordon jumped in to ensure there was no one left inside. Both detectives went underwater and attempted to look inside the truck, but visibility was zero. Due to the frigid conditions, officers were prevented from remaining in the water for any considerable length of time. Sergeant Michael Botelho relieved the detectives and made an attempt to ensure there were no additional occupants trapped inside.
A commercial diver, properly equipped for cold water exposure, was finally able to determine that no one was inside.
The driver, David Cardin of West Island, was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in critical condition. He has since been released from the hospital and is living at home.
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