Canadian firefighter shares credit for Mexico beach rescue
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 9:13AM EST
An Alberta firefighter credited with saving the life of a young boy and his father while on vacation in Mexico says, if it hadn't been for other Canadians, the story may have had a tragic outcome.
Andrew Pearson said, during his last day on vacation near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, he noticed a young boy struggling in the water.
"I just locked my eyes on him and went," Pearson told CTV Edmonton.
The St. Alberta, Alta. firefighter, who has water rescue and medical training, managed to reach the boy.
But on his way back to shore, Pearson noticed the boy's father, who also swam out in a rescue attempt, was now in trouble himself.
Pearson said, at that point, Liz Haley-Armstrong of Carrot River, Sask., grabbed the young boy, while he swam back out to reach the boy’s father.
"I was at the point of exhaustion by the time I hit the surf break," Pearson recalled. "And I was trying to lift and carry the father through the surf break but I was so tired, I was losing him."
It was then that Haley-Armstrong's son, Bob, came to their rescue.
"If Bob and Liz weren't there to help me out, there probably would have been a tragic outcome," Pearson said.
St. Albert fire chief Ray Richards said he's not surprised by Pearson's actions, as emergency personnel are trained to respond quickly – even while on vacation.
"He's a pretty humble individual so I'll certainly sit down with him and tell him the excellent job that he did," Richards said.
Pearson said the father and son were in good health, and through a translator they expressed their gratitude. He said he hopes to stay in touch with the family.
With a report from CTV Edmonton's Amanda Anderson