WINNIPEG — A group of beachgoers acted quickly over the weekend to rescue two kids who had floated too far into the water at Grand Beach.
The children were in the lake on inflatable rafts when the high winds pushed them into deep water.
Cynthia and Jason Cherewayko were at the beach when they said they heard a father calling out to his daughters that they had drifted too far.
“I said, ‘That dad needs our help,’ and (Jason) said, ‘No it’ll be okay,’ and I was like, ‘Nope, there’s two different tubes. It’s too far and it’s really deep right now. We need to go right now,'” said Cynthia.
She said the father was trying to reach his daughters but, because of how deep the water was and the low temperature, he was panicking.
Cynthia said she was able to help the dad and one of his daughters to shore while Jason went to get the other girl.
“Got to the other little girl and she was pretty small,” said Jason. “So she was a bit blueish and shaking because she was scared and cold,”
Cynthia said Jason and the other girl began drifting far out onto the lake, so she started asking for help from others on the beach.
“Our grand beach community members were amazing,” said Cynthia. “They saw the distress. One of our close friends Aaron, he ran and found someone with a kayak.”
Jason said the kayaker, whose name is Blake, saved their lives as he was able to take the two back to safety.
Dr. Christopher Love, who is with the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba, told CTV News that the wind and wave conditions can change quickly on Manitoba lakes and it doesn’t take long for inflatables to be pulled away from shore.
“You need to figure out a way that you can anchor or secure your inflatable so that it’s not going to go anywhere,” said Love, who added people could tie their inflatable to nearby docks.
The Lifesaving Society of Manitoba recommends that if people use inflatables, they should have the same safety equipment on them as a boat of an equal size would.
Cynthia said she wants to see more safety measures at the beach, especially when the beach safety officers aren’t available.
“I’m so happy my husband was brought back to me. I’m so glad those little girls and their dad were brought back to their family and to their mom and I’m just glad it was the way it was,” said Cynthia.
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