Winnipeg man credits 3 strangers with saving his life after nearly drowning
Published Thursday, August 14, 2014 1:46PM CST Last Updated Thursday, August 14, 2014 6:02PM CST
A Winnipeg man is lucky to be alive, thanks to three strangers who jumped into action and rescued him from drowning.
Harikesh Marwaha, 24, was enjoying a summer day at Rushing River Provincial Park, near Kenora, when he slipped on a rock and was pulled under water, becoming unconscious.
Marwaha said he doesn't remember anything until hearing voices above him saying, “Wake up. Wake up."
He credits three Winnipeggers for saving his life.
Around 6:30 pm, on Aug. 6, Colin Cheys heard a man and woman screaming that Marwaha had gone under water. Cheys quickly ran towards the water, and dove in trying to find Marwaha. It wasn't until his second plunge he found him lying on the ground, blue in the face.
A trained diver, Cheys pulled him to a rock with the help of a woman and another man, an off-duty police officer, arrived and performed CPR, successfully reviving Marwaha.
Cheys said he is happy he was in the right place at the right time. He said he doesn't think of himself as hero. He said the experience was scary and is thankful for the happy ending.
Marwaha has invited all three of them to join him for dinner next week as a thank you.
But the Lifesaving Society says not everyone who sees someone in trouble should jump in and perform a rescue.
“We don't want two people drowning,” said Sarah Dyck from the Manitoba branch.
She said the rescue was courageous, but also said if you can't find someone who is a strong swimmer during an emergency, call 911 and wait for responders.
Once the person is out of the water, perform CPR.
Dyck said it's a valuable skill everyone should know.
"We are out and about and there are not always trained professionals around, so if we all know CPR, we are going to keep places safer," said Dyck.
As a certified diver, Colin Cheys is one of those confident swimmers. He said he's not a hero, just happy the rescue was a success.
“I (owe) my life to them. They are god to me. They were the right people, at the right time, and the right place,” said Marwaha.
According to the Lifesaving Society, drowning-related emergencies are the third-leading cause of accidental deaths in Canada.
Men between 20 and 24 are most at risk, along with children and newcomers to Canada.
RCMP said their numbers show to date six Manitobans have drowned in 2014, and 10 in 2013.