14-Year-Old Florida Boy Pulls Trapped Child Out of Overturned Car in Canal

Elizabeth Shapshal / Courtesy
Elizabeth Shapshal / Courtesy

A 14-year-old Florida boy and his father rescued a trapped child from an overturned car in a canal outside of their neighborhood Saturday afternoon.

Yury Shapshal was driving home after lunch with his three children when they saw people crowding around a canal near their Boca Raton home.

As they got closer, they saw a cloud of smoke rising from the canal. When Shapshal pulled over, he saw an overturned vehicle with someone on the canal’s bank shouting at a person in the vehicle.

“It was almost entirely submerged in the water,” Shapshal told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It was obvious there was a child stuck in the car, and he was screaming his name. I had three in the car of my own, so that kind of hit me really hard, knowing there’s a child trapped in the car.”

Shapshal and his 14-year-old son, Samuel, jumped into the canal when they saw the overturned vehicle.

Shapshal pulled one of the doors open while Samuel hopped inside and dragged one of the boys to safety.

A larger crowd had gathered at the canal’s shoreline, with many panicking and not knowing what to do. Others were on the phone with 911.

It is unclear what caused the car to end up in the canal.

The Shapshal family was not the only Florida family to rescue people and animals stuck in a canal.

In February 2020, a group of Good Samaritans raced against the clock to rescue a woman trapped in a vehicle sinking into a Boca Raton canal. In January 2021, several Florida police officers rescued a family’s dog from drowning in a canal.

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