A Carrot River family and an Edmonton firefighter are being hailed as heroes in Mexico after saving a father and son from drowning.
Liz Haley-Armstrong, her son Bob Haley and firefighter Drew Pearson were relaxing on the Mismayola beach in Puerto Vallarta when they noticed a young boy struggling in a rip tide just off the beach. Despite having only met each other 10 minutes before, the trio leaped into action.
“It was amazing to see them step up the way they did,” Pearson said.
Pearson dove into the water and swam towards the kid. He noticed another man, who would later be identified as the boy’s father, trying to get to the boy as well. Pearson reached the boy first and was headed back for shore when he noticed the father was now in in distress.
Liz, meanwhile, had waded into a safe section of water and took the boy from Pearson, freeing him to go save the father. By now, the boy’s mother had jumped in to save her husband, but couldn’t get him to shore. When Pearson reached the pair, the wife grabbed onto him. Pearson pushed her off and ordered her to swim back while he pulled the father.
Exhausted and near the point of collapse, Pearson said he wouldn’t have made it back to shore without the help of Bob, who dragged them both to shore.
Pearson, who is also a reservist, said he was only doing what he was trained to do and gives all the credit to Liz and Bob.
“It was amazing to see how quickly they helped up and there was no hesitation or questioning,” he said.
Pearson said he believes without the pair’s help, the happy ending could have easily been a tragedy.
“It’s amazing that there was three Canadians on a beach in Mexico, in a sea of 100 locals, that were able to do something like this,” Pearson said. “It’s kind of a testament to Canadians and how quickly we can work together no matter what the circumstance.”