A BRAVE Sunderland fan rescued his family after their BMW plunged into a canal.
Nic Seddon’s quick thinking saved his dad and nephew, who were trapped underwater after the hire car hit a brick and veered off the road.
The 45-year-old dad remembered he had a car lock – given to him by the family of teenage neighbour Steven Davison, who died in a road accident – which he used to smash the window to get out.
He pulled free his 16-year-old nephew Daniel, who has learning difficulties, by sitting on the car roof and using his then-bare heels to shatter the glass in the passenger side door.
A group of boys helped get Daniel out of the water while Nic saved dad Bob, 68, who suffers from heart problems.
The sales manager, of Benevente Street, Seaham, watched in horror as the car began to sink further. The accident happened in Manchester when Nic was visiting the city.
Exhausted after 40 minutes in the water, he collapsed by the side of the canal. He was treated by paramedics as firefighters dived in.
They have also been hailed as heroes after saving Nic’s mother Patricia, 65, by smashing the back window with an axe.
The pensioner, who suffered a brain aneurism last year, was given CPR and spent three days in hospital.
Nic, father to Shannon, 15, Matthew, 12, and Stephen, said he went “berserk” as the horror of what was happening set in, and he fought his way out of the sinking car.
He said: “The steering lock has always kept me safe, I’ve always been superstitious about it.”
It belonged to Steven Davison, of Ash Crescent, Seaham, who was just two days past his 18th birthday, when in May 2007 he failed to negotiate a bend on the B1287, North Road, about half a mile from its junction with Lord Byron’s Walk.
“Steven’s brother Lee gave it to me,” said Nic, who used to live in the same Parkside street.
“I’ve always had it in the car and even if I’ve borrowed one for the day, always taken it with me.
“I was quite close to his family when we lived next to each other.
“Thinking about it now, there would have been nothing else in the car to use to get us out.
“When I got back, I rang Lee and told him it had saved our lives.
“The firefighters were amazing, for me I was saving the people I love, to them we’re total strangers.”
Nic, who moved to Seaham in 1996 from Manchester, was also wearing his “lucky” Sunderland away top during the incident, which happened last Tuesday night (MARCH 20) after they had been out for dinner in Manchester.
Since the accident, which happened at 25mph on a dark road, he has been put forward by the Mirror for one of its Pride of Britain Awards and was due to appear on ITV’s Daybreak with his parents and nephew.