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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2001

Duke coach rescues man

September 22, 2001

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— A trip to retrieve a boat turned into a lifesaving mission for Duke football coach Carl Franks.

Franks was at Rolling View Marina on Falls Lake on Friday morning when he pulled a man from a submerged sports utility vehicle. The man apparently had a seizure and drove into the water.

"If we hadn't gone down there, I would hate to think what would have happened because there was no one else at the marina," Franks said. "It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

Franks and Duke equipment manager Mike Hawley were at the marina about 8:15 a.m. when they heard an engine rev up followed by a splash. Franks said he didn't think anything of the noises at first, but went to talk with marina manager Doug Green just to make sure.

About 10 minutes later, the three men saw a Jeep with just a portion of the back end sticking out of the water. After yelling for someone to call 911, Franks took off his watch, his shoes and his shirt and headed into the water.

Franks felt his way through the muddy water and found the driver's side door open, but no one in the seat. He worked his way around to the back of the Jeep and cupped his hands to the back window so he could see in.

Franks pulled the hatch open, grabbed the man and dragged him onto the bank.

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