A father was trying to save his son from drowning near Davidson’s Pool, on the north side of the Alouette River in Maple Ridge, when he became a victim himself, one of the rescuers told Black Press Media.
That is the belief of Rob Payne, a Maple Ridge resident whose home backs onto the river.
Payne was one of several people who responded on Sunday afternoon, July 31, when the two ended up in the water after their flotation device apparently tipped.
Payne, his wife and two children, had just finished tubing when they saw a person calling for help.
“She said her friend was under the water,” Payne said.
It appeared the father tried to push his son out of the water but was unable to save himself.
Payne, who has water rescue training and a diver’s ticket, went back into the water.
Visibility was limited to about a foot, Payne estimated, but he was able to locate the father on his second dive and get him out of the water, moving him to the riverside.
“It was a miracle I was able to locate him that fast,” Payne said.
Several people, including an off-duty firefighter and some nurses, worked to revive the victim using CPR.
“We all just tried our best to resuscitate the victim,” Payne said.
The man’s pulse was “in and out” before the fire, paramedics, and police arrived and took over.
Payne praised the group rescue effort that saw bystanders come together to help.
“It was a collective effort to get him back to his family,” Payne stressed.
“Honestly, I feel thankful that I was there, and able to be of assistance,” Payne added.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) reported receiving a call at 3:18 p.m. Sunday to respond to a medical emergency in Alouette River.
“BCEHS dispatched four ambulances to the scene. Two patients were cared for and transported to hospital, one in critical condition and one in stable condition.”
As of Tuesday, Aug. 2, the father reportedly remained in hospital, while the son had recovered.
Davidson’s Pool, which is named after land owner J. Davidson, is located a little way upstream from Maple Ridge Park.
A popular swimming hole for residents to cool off on a summer day, it is near the “Hot Rocks,” named after the sun-heated rocks around the pool that offer a warm place to relax and sunbathe.
An online description, posted by Maple Ridge parks, recreation and culture, warns the pool – which has no lifeguard – can be “extremely dangerous” because the river moves very fast.
READ ALSO: Cooling off at Davidson’s Pool
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