EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article said Kiel Jordan is Peyton’s stepfather. The girl is actually Jordan’s biological daughter. Global News has updated the article and regrets the error.
A Calgary man has died after rescuing a girl at a B.C. lake on Friday.
Jonathan Paul Stein-Palmiere, 20, was at Windermere Lake on May 31 with his girlfriend and some members of her family.
According to his girlfriend’s stepfather Kiel Jordan, Stein-Palmiere rushed into the water Friday morning when he saw that Jordan’s younger daughter Peyton was in trouble and calling for help.
“She was on the floaty and it pulled her out too far and she was trying to get back paddling but she decided to jump off and swim, but she just got tuckered out so she called for help,” Jordan said on Sunday.
“Jon heard her and he jumped up and went into the water. Jon is not a very good swimmer at all and he just went for it.”
Jordan said Stein-Palmiere was able to throw Peyton into the air towards the beach, where people were able to come and grab her, but Jon went under the water. Other people joined the effort to save Stein-Palmiere by getting him back to shore on a paddleboard.
Despite those best efforts, Stein-Palmiere died in the hospital in Invermere. That’s where Jordan met Stein-Palmiere’s mother Toni Palmiere.
“I went up to give him a hug and he said, ‘I’m so sorry. Your son died saving my little girl.’ Then he just fell to the floor and collapsed. Why is he sorry, I thought? Jon did what Jon does,” Toni said.
Toni describes her son Jon as a polite, charming and hard-working young man with a big smile and who always wanted to look after her.
“I told him to take care of himself for a change. I said, ‘You always look after other people,'” said Toni of the recent St. Francis High School graduate.
Jordan said Stein-Palmiere, a SAIT carpentry student, had never met his 10-year-old daughter Peyton before the day he saved her life.
“He’s a hero. We are just so thankful for him. His personality is as big as a mountain. There’s nobody nicer in the world. Just a beaming smile and so upbeat and always helpful. The greatest human you could ever imagine,” Jordan said.
Stein-Palmiere’s brother David is grieving the death of his little brother. But he’s determined to let his infant son know what a remarkable uncle he had.
“Jon would do it all again in a heartbeat even though what happened. He’s just that person. He’s a hero,” David said.