Good Samaritan in the right place at the right time, two days in a row

Good Samaritan in the right place at the right time, two days in a row
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POSTED: Friday, June 15, 2012 - 10:00am

UPDATED: Friday, June 15, 2012 - 10:04am

Two people were rescued from the water after an ultralight aircraft flipped and landed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon.

It was the second time in two days that the man who pulled pilot Rodney Tyoe, 74, and his passenger, Gina Zimmerman, 55, from the water was involved in a rescue.

On Wednesday, the man helped pull another man to safety after the man's vehicle wound up in the water near Isla Key Bridge in St. Petersburg.

Tyoe and Zimmerman were taken to shore. Tyoe sustained a minor injury to his lip.

Zimmerman, who is the girlfriend of Tyoe's son, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. Her family said she is expected to be OK.

"Oh yeah, we're in good shape," he said."We just hit the water a little hard, is all that happened."

Officials said Tyoe had just taken off from a strip of beach in Tierra Verde and had climbed to 100 feet when the aircraft began having trouble.

Tyoe said he descended to 30 feet when the wind flipped the aircraft over and sent it plummeting tail first into the water.

Tyoe's daughter, Juanita Baker, said her father, an experienced pilot, was able to land the aircraft, but the wind gave him some trouble.

"The wind caught the wind just right," she said. "It's a Delta Wing and it just flipped it."

Baker wants the man who helped her father to know that she appreciates him.

''Thank you fisherman," she said.

Lt. Joel Granata with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue said the man was just happy to help.

"He said he's just glad to help, he's down here on vacation for the summer, he barely took a thank you and just went ahead and left."

The fire department plans to recognize the Good Samaritans from the two rescues in a ceremony in November.

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