Alberta firefighter saves a father and son in Mexico
EDMONTON- An Edmonton man who saves lives for a living recently used his training to save a father and son while on vacation near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Last Saturday, Andrew Pearson, who’s a firefighter and emergency medical technician in St. Albert, was spending some time on the beach during a holiday to Mexico with his three-year-old daughter Claire.
He said he was building sand castles with his daughter when he looked up and saw a young boy in distress in the water.
“He was on the other side of the surf line here… in one of these flow channels called a rip,” Pearson said.
Pearson said his rescue instincts kicked in and he ran to help save the boy. As he brought him to shore, Pearson noticed a man struggling in the water as well.
“That turned out to be the father who went in for him and I don’t know if the father was a weak swimmer or a non-swimmer – but he was in a lot of trouble as well.”
Pearson said a Canadian woman named Liz Haley, who was also at the beach, yelled at him to pass her the boy so he could rescue the man.
When Pearson went back into the water, the struggling man’s wife was working to save her husband. Both then grabbed on to Pearson but he urged the woman to go back to shore as she was a stronger swimmer.
“By that point, I’m not going to lie – I was exhausted,” Pearson said. “I couldn’t go on any further.”
At that moment, Haley’s son Bob came to grab the man who was just rescued.
Pearson quickly assessed the son and father on the beach and determined they were in good condition.
Although the rescued father and son are locals who don’t speak English, Pearson said he left his contact information with them.
“I really felt like when something like that happens, you make a connection.”
Pearson, who is also an army reservist, said he doesn’t see himself as a hero. He credits his rescue training for helping him to jump into action without thinking about the consequences.
“You don’t have a choice, cause if you fear for your life, it would be pretty hard to do your job,” he said. “Bob and Liz deserve all the recognition because they jumped in without any thought to their own safety. And that’s the story that needs to get told. I’m trained to do this.”
Pearson returned to Alberta on Sunday, the day after the rescue. He returns to work on Thursday.
-with files from Vinesh Pratap
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