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‘Heroes’ who saved young man from drowning in Penticton lake awarded medal of merit

Three men vacationing at Skaha Lake leapt into action during late night swim in the Channel
Three Vancouver residents Daniel Ferrer, Bruno James and Henry Reis are being hailed for their bravery in rescuing a man from drowning on Skaha Lake last June. (Submitted)

On a Friday night in June 2022, a group of Vancouver residents camping at Wright’s Beach Resort on Skaha Lake heard cries for help coming from the water.

Although unable to see out onto the lake because of the darkness, Daniel Ferrer, Bruno James and Henry Reis inflated their boat, attached the electric motor and were in the water in a matter of minutes. At the same time, their family members on shore were calling 911 and gathering blankets and supplies, not quite sure what to expect.

Once on the water, the men could hear screams coming from the shore saying the person in distress was somewhere southwest of them. Using a cellphone as their light, they headed in that direction and within a few minutes found a young man in the lake just barely able to keep his mouth and nose above the surface.

Bruno jumped in the water to support the man while Daniel and Henry pulled both of them onto the boat, said the Lifesaving Society, who are awarding the trio Silver Medals for Merit. Soon after, rescue boats arrived and directed them to shore where first responders were waiting.

“If not for the quick action of these three rescuers, the idea of a late night swim in the channel could have turned tragic,” said the Lifesaving Society.

At that time of the near drowning, the channel water was high and moving fast, causing the man to be swept well out into the lake, in the dark and not able to see shore. On top of that, the water temperature was colder than normal.

READ MORE: Toddler who fell in lake saved by off-duty Penticton Mountie

The rescuers, who are all parents themselves, said they were thinking of the tragedy the parents of this young man would face if they didn’t try to save him.

For their selfless actions that night, Daniel Ferrer, Bruno James de Faria, and Henry Reis are being awarded the Silver Medals for Merit.

The trio are among 17 recipients of Rescue Awards from the Lifesaving Society at the 111th annual Honour & Rescue Award Ceremony held at the Michael J Fox Theatre in Burnaby on April 1.

The president of Lifesaving Society Canada, will be in attendance to recognize these heroes for their bravery in making water-related rescues.

The Lifesaving Society is a not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to reduce water-related death and injury. The Society has been educating the public and training lifesavers and lifeguards in B.C. since 1911.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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