Florida Motorist Rescued From Alligator-Infested Canal After Paraglider Spots Her Atop Submerged Vehicle

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Hu Huhu/Xinhua via Getty Images)

A motorist in Florida clung for her life from the top of her vehicle, which was stuck submerged in an alligator-infested canal. However, a paraglider spotted the woman and made an emergency landing to rescue her over the weekend.

Christiano Piquet, a real estate broker in the Miami area, was piloting his paramotor-powered glider on Sunday when he descended to get a better look at an alligator he saw from the air while cruising near Homestead, he reported to NBC Miami on Monday.

However, he then noticed the motorist on the roof of her mostly submerged vehicle. Piquet then decided to land, he said.

A neighbor heard the commotion the aircraft made as it buzzed above the swampy waters and landed in a nearby field. The neighbor then threw the motorist a rope, the station reported.

A camera mounted to the paraglider recorded the motorist using the rope to get to safety, with Piquet offering some guidance.

“We landed between power lines, uneven terrain,” Piquet told NBC Miami. “It was a terrible landing situation. And for some reason, I was calm, and I landed.”

However, once he got as close as he could to the woman, Piquet shouted, “We need help.”

The motorist was rushed to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries, according to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. Her identity and condition were unavailable.

Paraglider in Utah in Serious Condition After Crashing Into Mountain

It is also still unclear how her vehicle ended up in the water.

Miami-Dade first responders were called to the canal in the 20400 block of SW 192 Street on at 8:35 a.m. Sunday. Department spokesperson Andrea Rudchenco confirmed the incident by email. The area lies along the southwest edge of greater Miami. It also borders Everglades National Park.

As a precaution, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue diver checked the area of the canal near the submerged vehicle for additional victims. They found none, the spokesperson said.

Officials said more information is likely as an investigation seeks a cause for the incident. However, while Piquet’s paragliding land ultimately proved successful, another paraglider in Utah suffered a horrific accident in September.

A paraglider in Utah is reportedly in critical condition after they crashed into a mountain back on September 25th.

According to KSL5, the paraglider was life-flighted to the University of Utah hospital after crashing into the middle of Grandeur Peak mountain. The accident occurred around 11:25 a.m. Rescue crews were able to make contact with the person at about 12:25 p.m. Medics then determined the paraglider was in critical condition. 

The media outlet also shared that further information about the crash was not immediately available. The paraglider’s identity wasn’t disclosed at the time of the report.