(Black Press file image)

Fisherman called hero after saving man from drowning in B.C. lake

“I didn’t really think about anything I was doing, I just kind of did it,” said Calgary’s Aaron Jones.

A relaxing day on the lake with friends and coworkers quickly shifted into something completely different when a watchful bystander noticed a man’s head drop below the surface of the water, and not come back up.

The quick actions of a fisherman and surrounding campers proved pivotal in saving an individual at Suzanne Lake near Jaffray, last Saturday.

“We were coming back from fishing, me and a friend of mine, we both had our young children in the boat,” said Aaron Jones of Calgary.

As the group was approaching the dock in the middle of the lake, they saw a man who was having a hard time swimming, and was calling out for help. Nobody close by seemed to be moving towards the man. Elk Valley RCMP later confirmed that the man had developed a cramp in his legs which rendered him temporarily immobile.

“As we were moving the boat towards him, he went under, and he didn’t come back up,” said Jones. “So once I saw that he was going under I jumped in, I went down, he was pretty much at the bottom by the time I got to him, (and I) swam him back up to the surface.

“He was completely unconscious, like eyes wide open,” he continued. “I tried to feel for a pulse but I couldn’t feel anything. I don’t know if – there was a lot going on at that point.”

Others assisted Jones in getting the man to shore, at which time Jones immediately starting performing CPR.

“Another guy with his friends starting to do chest compressions, and after maybe seven or eight rounds, he came back to life,” said Jones.

“It was pretty intense.”

On the shore watching close by was the man’s pregnant wife, as well as his father-in-law. While he was recovering, his wife lay beside him and comforted him.

“That hit home especially, because I was there with my wife and my young fella,” said Jones.

Growing up, Jones received his bronze cross and was trained in resuscitation, water rescue, but this was many years ago.

Jones, an operations manager for a scaffolding company in Calgary, just happened to be in the Fernie area that weekend camping with friends. Jones said this certainly wasn’t how he planned to spend his weekend, but was very glad that the outcome was what it was.

He stressed that the rescue was not just him.

“There were a lot of factors that came together that kept that guy from dying,” Jones said. “Having people in boats to help alleviate some of the strain on me after having to go down and get him, to bring him into shore. His friend who did chest compressions…”

Jones explained that there were several others on shore, including local volunteer firefighters and mine rescue workers that were able to take over once the man was in recovery position, which allowed Jones to catch his breath.

“It was definitely a team effort, for sure,” said Jones.

Once the dust settled, the saved man and his family invited Jones and his family up to their campsite, where they ate together; everyone expressing how thankful they were to be together.

Asked if he hesitated at all in the moment, Jones paused to think.

“It’s what you’ve got to do, right,” he said. “Like, I don’t know – I didn’t really think about anything I was doing, I just kind of did it.”

A request for comment from the individual who was saved was not returned by press time.



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

Gifted tablet help connect patients with loved-ones

Amid COVID, Ridge Meadows Hospital continues to receive a variety of different kinds of donations

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read