TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Was it fate? Maybe perfect timing? A man paramotoring just north of Homestead, Florida spotted something in a canal that caught his attention. Upon closer inspection, that ‘something’ turned out to be a woman clinging to the roof of her car pleading for help.
Cristiano Piquet’s Sunday morning paramotoring trip was supposed to be for business.
“I flew there because I wanted to see a specific property that was on that route,” Piquet told NBC affiliate WTVJ.
After spotting an alligator just north of Homestead, the local realtor out of Miami decided to descend for a closer look.
“There was a big one because he did a big splash,” Piquet said. “I came down to see the alligator when I saw the car.”
But Piquet quickly realized he had come across more than just a car. Atop the submerged SUV was a woman clinging to the roof in a canal.
“In that moment, I think God told me, ‘my friend, land and save that one life,'” Piquet recalled.
After a dangerous emergency landing in a field, “we landed between power lines and uneven terrain, winds, it was a terrible landing situation,” Piquet said. “For some reason, I was calm, and I landed.”
He carefully reached the woman who was pleading for help. “Need help?” Piquet asked.
“Oh my God! I fell with my car in here,” the woman responded.
A nearby neighbor who heard the commotion called 911 and rushed over with a rope. Once the woman was successfully pulled onto dry land, she hugged the other person who helped pull her to safety.
“God cares about her life because he put me in that moment, that perfect moment,” Piquet said. “On that day, maybe I would have flown somewhere else.”
Piquet said she seemed to be in a state of shock but otherwise seemed to be okay. It’s unclear how the woman’s SUV ended up in the canal.