Two Okanagan brothers who helped rescue four people at risk of drowning six years ago were given medals of bravery this week.
Wynden and Stayton Danylowich were honoured in Ottawa by Governor General Julie Payette on Thursday for their heroic efforts in Wood Lake in 2013.
After hearing screams for help, the two saved three boys who had been swept by the strong current of Vernon Creek into the rough waters of the lake, where they were struggling to swim.
They also saved a man who had rushed in to help the boys but needed rescuing as well.
A father of two of the boys drowned while also trying to rescue the boys.
“We asked what the problem was and they said three kids that were drowning,” Stayton Danylowich said at the time of the incident.
“So my brother and I, as we were still running, we ripped off all our clothes and went in as fast as we could to try and get these kids.”
WATCH (March 9, 2019): Rescuers are honoured for their life-saving actions
On Friday, the two brothers talked to Global News about receiving their medals.
“We were in the water for upwards of five hours or so until we got pulled out by search and rescue… well, told to come out, because we were looking for the body,” said Wynden Danylowich told Global News.
“It’s one of those events where you’re never going to forget it for your entire life. It’s just drilled right into you,” said Stayton Danylowich.
WATCH (Aug. 18, 2017): Daring rescue in freezing Alaskan water saves drowning kayaker
As for receiving the medals, Stayton said “it was above and beyond anything my brother and I would have expected.
“We, first of all, weren’t expecting these awards, and when we found out we were going to be receiving them, it was quite a shock and obviously quite an honour to be recognized.”
The brothers say they’re humbled by the recognition.
“We don’t feel like we’re heroes,” said Stayton. “We feel that we’re lucky to be in the right place at the right time and, you know, be able to make a difference.”