When Charles Speed, 83, fell into the Hopkins River in the middle of winter he had to wait up to 25 minutes for an ambulance to try and find him because the nearby road had no name.
And now Warrnambool City Council has chosen to name it after indigenous man Wilmot Abraham - a name Mr Speed said was perfect because his story was one that was close to his heart.
On a 14-degree day in June this year, Mr Speed went to pump out the water from his boat moored at the angling club jetty, something he does regularly when rain fills the open dingy.
"I went to step back out off the edge of the boat and the ropes got me on my foot and I went in the drink," he said.
"Here I am in the water between the boat and the jetty and I can't move. I was jammed.
"I was hanging onto the boat and hanging onto the jetty with the water up to my chin."
Because it was a floating jetty, there were no footings to help him get himself out of the water.
When his wife, who had been sitting in the car noticed him in the water, she called 000.
Because the street had no name, there was a delay getting the ambulance there and after about 25 minutes - Mr Speed said it felt like longer - the police came and fished him out of the water.
His wife ended up having to walk up to Otway Road to flag down the ambulance.
After being taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm, Mr Speed was given the all-clear.
He said it was not the first time something like that had happened in that area.
Mr Speed knows of another incident where emergency services were delayed because there was no street name.
He approached South West Coast MP Roma Britnell about the issue who took it to the council.
The name Rolfe Place was initially proposed after tea merchant George Rolfe who owned land along the Hopkins River in the 19th century.
He'd named his property Lyndoch and by the 1800s it was 50 acres and included a windmill, stables, a jetty and other buildings.
The property was sold in the 1950s and became the site of Lyndoch Living retirement and aged-care facility.
It turns out that Mr Speed is a distant relative of Mr Rolfe, but he said he was more than happy with the name Wilmot Way. His suggestion to the council was Launching Place.
"To have this called Wilmot, the way it fits in with history is pretty special," he said.
"I never thought that falling in the river would bring all this history around."
Wilmot Abraham had lived in Warrnambool in the 1880s and was believed to be the last of his tribe.
He's buried in the "strangers' section" of the Warrnambool cemetery, and Mr Speed said he believed he may have been one of the first Aboriginal people to be buried there.
"He used to work as a drover and he got paid a pound a month and his tobacco," Mr Speed said.
"He loved to dress up in the latest garb of the day."
Councillors backed the name change at Monday night's council meeting.
There are also plans to install more emergency markers along the Hopkins River to help guide emergency services in the wake of the incident.
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