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Ottawa police, firefighters perform ‘incredible’ water rescue near hydro station

Ottawa police and firefighters saved a man stuck in a current that would have swept him in the direction of this Ottawa hydro station Monday evening. Google Street View

The Ottawa Fire Service says a man was saved Monday evening as part of a dramatic water rescue near a hydro generator.

Just before 8 p.m., firefighters were called to a water canal under a Booth Street bridge, where a half-conscious man in his 60s was stuck in a current leading to Ottawa Hydro Station near the Mill Street Brewery.

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Ottawa fire says several Ottawa police officers were holding on to the man, keeping him from being swept away by the current when firefighters arrived. Police clarified that four officers were taking turns holding onto the man. Two would lie on their bellies, reaching out to hold the man, while two other officers held onto the police officers lying down. This went on for 12 minutes, with the four officers swapping out due to the exertion of holding the man against the current.

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Ottawa police could not say what lead the man to fall into the waterway, but that when they arrived, he was holding onto a post. A security guard nearby called emergency services because they heard the man crying for help, police say.

When firefighters arrived, they realized they could not get onto a boat to save the man due to the current, so one firefighter tied himself with a rope tethered to others onshore.

When the firefighter finally reached the man, he had to be taken out of the water by a basket and a system of ropes, operated by firefighters onshore.

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Ottawa fire says it was an “incredible rescue,” one that was done in the dark of night and in limited space. The success of the rescue, according to Ottawa fire, was due to the teamwork exhibited between police and fire personnel.

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The man was handed over to Ottawa paramedics at about 8:30 p.m. Paramedics say they transported the man to hospital and treated him for possible hypothermia and environmental exposure.

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