Wedding photos are meant to capture romantic memories of a couple leaping into the next step of their relationship, but for one Ontario couple their wedding photos actually caught a heroic moment when the groom saved a young boy who fell into a river.
On Friday, Clayton Cook and Brittany Cook tied the knot in Kitchener, but as the bride and groom were taking photos by the water after the ceremony, something caught Clayton’s eye.
“We were walking through Victoria Park just doing photos at random locations and there were three small kids following us around for five or 10 minutes, and they started walking towards the water,” Clayton said.
“I looked over as Brittany was doing some solo shots and I only saw two kids – there were three – I thought I better double check to make sure everything was okay … and sure enough, once I got over there I saw the third child in the water and he was fighting quite hard to stay afloat.”
That’s when Clayton stepped in and helped the boy out of the water.
“I was able to jump down on a rock and reach out and scoop him up,” he said.
“Luckily he was okay, but he was in a lot of shock.”
Brittany said initially she thought her new husband just jumped into the water.
“I looked over at the river and it looked like he was in the water taking swim and I was like oh my gosh, what are you doing?” she said.
“That’s when the photographer turned around and he was able to catch mid-action what was happening – Clay was pulling a boy out of the water.”
Darren Hatt has been a full-time photographer since 2012 and said he has shot hundreds of weddings, but Friday’s events were like nothing he has ever seen.
“Weddings have a lot of interesting and spontaneous moments but this was definitely on a different level,” Hatt said.
“You’re always about capturing the story, and this is just part of the story they will remember … this will definitely be something they remember for years.”
After the incident, Clayton said the boy silently hung around the couple for a few more minutes before family members found him, but the events left him a little distracted.
“It’s a weird sight to see. It’s obviously something you don’t see a lot – thank God – but I think I was in a little shock myself with trying to piece everything together,” he said.
“I’m just glad everyone was okay because the day could have gone a lot different.”