By Kristina Rex

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A man who drove his car into the Charles River Monday night was rescued by two coaches from the Northeastern University rowing team. Police believe the man suffered a medical incident prior to the crash.

The car went into the river at about 7:40 p.m. near Memorial Drive and Flagg Street.

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Northeastern University rowing coaches Trevor Appier and Beatrice Sims saw it happen from the motorboat they were on.

“I was like oh that’s an accident happening and then it just kept going and we were probably 10 feet away as it plunged into the water,” Appier said.

The car began to sink after the man rolled the car’s window down. The coaches threw him a life vest and were able to pull him onto their boat and call 911.

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“You’re sort of in shock when it happens, but being able to react appropriately in a situation like that is something that we do train for and we do prepare for because you never know what is going to happen out there on the water,” Sims said.

The driver of this SUV was rescued after crashing into the Charles River in Cambridge (WBZ-TV)

The man appeared to be in shock when he was taken to the hospital. The coaches feel lucky they were there for the rescue.

“If we had not been passing by and he had not known how to swim, potentially I don’t know that that could have gone as smoothly maybe as it did,” Appier said.

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The car was submerged in the river for about two hours before it was towed away. The incident is under investigation by State Police.

Kristina Rex