Hero ex-soldier jumps into lake to rescue elderly couple

The couple sadly died after their car careered into Hooe Lake, Plymouth

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The moment an ex-soldier dived into freezing water to try and save an elderly couple whose car careered into a lake in Plymouth was captured on camera.

Hero Paul Brain stripped to the waist and swam out to reach the pair after the vehicle reversed into Hooe Lake, Devon. It is not known how the accident happened but police believe the male driver may have accidentally hit the wrong pedal.

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Paul, 45, leaped into the water and dived down to the car to try and get them, working with a police officer to smash the windows and drag them out. The driver and passenger were airlifted to hospital but sadly they both died.

Tributes have been paid to the grandmother passenger called Barbara or "Nanny Purple".

Paul said he struggled to get to the couple because the car was so submerged in the water.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: "I heard a nurse screaming for help. I stripped off to my boxers and didn't even think about it."

He added: "I couldn't get deep enough to get to the front of the car.

"I couldn't open any doors and I tried to smash the windows. I didn't realise how deep it was."

Former police officer Steve Kendall took pictures of the dramatic rescue and told Yahoo: "It was incredibly brave and he gave it his all but unfortunately, he couldn't save them.

He added: "He deserves recognition for what he did, and so does the officer. I'm going to be recommending the police officer for some sort of commendation. They were incredibly brave."

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