Family and friends are mourning Shaun Nugent, a Langley Minor Football coach who died just a day after rescuing a woman from drowning in a lake near Mission.
Nugent, a local contractor, was enjoying himself with his family at Mission’s Hayward Lake on Saturday, July 27, when a woman got into trouble out on the water.
According to an account posted later that day by Shaun’s wife, Lianne ,on Facebook, a woman had drifted out onto the lake on her floaty.
When she realized how far she was from shore, she tried to paddle back, but the current was too much for her, and she lost hold of her floaty.
She kept swimming for shore, but grew tired as the current was against her.
“Her friend on shore noticed her struggle and began screaming for help,” Lianne wrote.
“Before I could even see what she was yelling about, Shaun was already in the water doing the fastest swim of his life.”
Shaun swam out to the woman and helped her back to shore.
“By the time he got to her, she was about a football field length away from shore and just giving up,” Lianne wrote.
“He brought her almost all the way [back] and was physically exhausted.”
Lianne swam out to help, and then someone on shore threw a life ring and pulled them the last few yards.
“We didn’t get her name,” Lianne said.
She estimated there had to have been “20 people standing in the sand” and none reacted.
“Even after it was obvious this was an emergency situation, no help came to us” Lianne related.
On Monday morning, Shaun suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
The cause of death has not been definitively determined, Lianne told the Langley Advance Times.
“There definitely was overstress on the heart,” she said.
There has been a huge outpouring of support from people who knew him, she said.
“An all-around fabulous guy,” she said.
Shaun had been a Peewee football coach for the Cowboys, a Langley Minor Football team since the couple’s youngest son – they have three children – took up the sport three years ago at the age of eight.
He had just turned 43 on May 31st.
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Family friend Leanne Burns described Shaun Nugent as an “amazing member of our community. “
“He was a coach and mentor for the Langley Minor Football, an amazing husband, father of three, a cherished friend and neighbor,” Burns related in an online post.
“[He was] always the first to lend a hand and help whenever he could.”
A private, invitation-only fundraiser is being planned for Saturday, Aug. 10 to help the family, Burns advised.
Organizers are looking for donations to a a silent auction to be submitted by Wednesday so they have time to make a list and write up descriptions. Interested businesses are asked to email Leahandronyk@outlook.com.
Anyone who wishes to make a monetary donation is asked to send an email transfer to Nugentfamilyfund@yahoo.com.
There is also a gofundme campaign to aid the family at https://www.gofundme.com/f/shaun-nugent-memorial-fund with a goal of $250,000.
Organizer Amanda Campbell wrote “Shaun was a loving father to his three children, Mikayla (21), Matthew (18), and Ethan (11). He was a beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, and a dear friend to many.”
A memorial service has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24.
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