BESSEMER CITY, NC (WBTV) - Seventy-year-old John Matsik is giving credit to his plumber for doing more than fixing his clogged drain.
Just three days before Christmas, the sink drain in Matsik's Bessemer City home got stopped up. He called Lovelace Plumbing to come take a look.
"We had a drain that wouldn't go down, and a drain is needed when you're going to have Christmas dinner," Matsik said.
Clint Riddle is based in Gaston County and came out to Matsik's home to try and fix the problem. Matsik was attempting to help Riddle find a roof vent and climbed onto a pool storage box for a better vantage point.
When he climbed down, his knee gave out and Matsik fell into his pool.
"I had just crawled under the house a little ways and I heard a splash, and I thought, 'probably not good,'" Riddle said.
The water was around 45 bone-chilling degrees at the time. Matsik said when he hit the water, it took his breath away and he was struggling just to hold on to the side of the pool.
Riddle came running and grabbed the man by his belt and shoulder and pulled him from the pool. He tells the story like it was no big deal, but Matsik says he no doubt saved Christmas by fixing the drain - and saving his life.
"He's my hero," Matsik said. "If he wasn't here, I wouldn't be here."