'I was worried he would fall': Boy, 7, holds onto classmate who slipped off ski lift
Published Friday, February 12, 2016 12:25PM EST Last Updated Friday, February 12, 2016 6:01PM EST
A seven-year-old boy who managed to hold onto his classmate who slipped off a ski lift said he was just helping a friend, and doesn't feel like a hero.
Kostaki Papakonstantinou is being called a hero by police after he held on to his friend at an Ontario ski resort long enough for resort staff to set up a safety net below.
The boys were on a class trip at Lakeridge Ski Resort in Uxbridge, Ont., located about 65 kilometres northeast of Toronto, on Thursday, when Papakonstantinou's friend lost a ski.
The boy turned in his seat to look back when he slipped off the seat and began to fall.
"He slipped out of the chair lift then he got back on. Then he slipped again," Papakonstantinou told CTV Toronto on Friday.
Papakonstantinou was sitting beside the boy, and managed to grab him and hold onto him for about two minutes as he was dangling about 40-feet off the ground. Meanwhile, staff at the resort had enough time to set up a safety net below.
"I was worried that he would fall on the snow and they wouldn't be there in time," he said.
"I was holding him until they were ready and then I let him drop into (the net)."
The boy fell into the net and then bounced onto the hill. The boy was airlifted to Sick Kids hospital and he's expected to make a full recovery.
Durham police say the seven-year-old skier is in stable condition at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children after sustaining serious injuries in the fall.
"For a seven year old to have that type of maturity and willpower, that is something that goes beyond the expectation for any kid -- it's basically heroic," Durham Regional Police Sgt. Bill Calder told The Canadian Press.
Papakonstantinou said he doesn't feel like a hero. He knew his friend needed help, so he held on.
His mother Eleni said she's "so proud" of her son's actions at the ski hill.
"He's such a calm individual to begin with and I'm so happy that he was there," she said.
"I'm really, really happy that everyone is safe and it's a little surreal.
Papakonstantinou and staff from the ski resort are being recommended for a citizen recognition award.