Gus Hertz honored for two heroic rescues in two days; Kevin Daly also recognized for rescue

12:32 PM, Jun 21, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida --  After two heroic rescues in two days, a Virginia tourist may as well try his luck with the lottery!

Gus Hertz not only witnessed the two crashes, he jumped to the rescue of three people.

Photo Gallery: Car in water
Photo Gallery:
Pictures of ultralight in the water

He's pretty humble about all of the attention he's been getting, as is Kevin Daly, who helped him pull a man out of a sinking car.

"I've used the analogy a couple of times that I feel like that one millionth customer... bought a bottle of ketchup at the right time and suddenly there's balloons and a marching band," said Hertz.

He describes the last week as a wild ride, and is still not really able to comprehend why people are so interested in his story.

"I think anybody else would do it. I really don't think I did anything that anybody else wouldn't do," said Hertz. 

Last week, he was in the condo where he's vacationing with his family when he saw a BMW careen off the Isla Key Bridge into the water. The driver, local restaurant owner Demetri Provias, was unconscious after suffering from diabetic shock.

Hertz immediately went in for the rescue along with Daly, who was fishing nearby.

"I'm trying to use a lifetime excuse to go fishing now," smiled Daly.

"How's that working out for you?" we asked.

With a thumbs up and a wink to his wife, he replied, "It's working."

The very next day, Hertz was out fishing on Tampa Bay when he saw an ultralight aircraft flown by Rodney Tyoe crash land into the water, flipped by the wind.

"'Oh my gosh, you've got to be kidding me...' That's exactly what came out of my out of my mouth as I jumped down and started the engine. And then I thought, 'I can't wait to tell my wife what just happened,'" explained Hertz.

He did it again, pulling the 74-year-old Tyoe and his passenger Gina Zimmerman to safety.

"He realized what was going on before I did, because he realized the wind had come up so fast," Tyoe told 10 News.

Hertz and Daly were not only given the "Heroic Citizen Award" from St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, they're also the proud new owners of  keys to the city.

Mayor Bill Foster told Hertz he's welcome to visit St. Petersburg any time, especially with his knack of being at the right place at the right time.

The owner of Skidder's Restaurant where Provias is co-owner tells us Provias is doing well and that Hertz and Daly have a free place to eat for life.

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