‘We’re so happy we saved a life’: B.C. Sikh men honoured for turban rescue

Click to play video: 'B.C. men honoured for saving two men from raging river'
B.C. men honoured for saving two men from raging river
Five men have been awarded for springing into action to save the lives of two people who were in danger of getting washed away in a roaring river. Kylie Stanton reports – Oct 26, 2021

Five young men were honoured by Ridge Meadows RCMP for saving two people from Lower Falls at Golden Ears Park.

On Oct. 11, the five men worked together to save two other young men in their 20s.

“The two men were in danger of drowning,” Supt. Wendy Mehat with Ridge Meadows RCMP said Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'B.C. Sikh men honoured for Golden Ears turban rescue'
B.C. Sikh men honoured for Golden Ears turban rescue

“Prior to the arrival of emergency services, these five young men … tied their turbans and jackets together to make a long rope and pulled the stranded young men to safety.

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“Your quick actions undoubtedly saved the lives of the two young men out at Golden Ears Park.”

The five young men, Gagandeep Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Arvindjeet Singh, Kulinder Singh and Ajay Kumar, were presented with Community Leader Awards in recognition of their bravery and heroic actions.

A photo of the coin presented to each of the five men. John Hua / Global News

Mehat said it should also be noted that the men used their turbans, a Sikh religious symbol, to perform the rescue.

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“Thank you for that,” she said to the men.

The young men, appearing humbled by the attention, each stepped forward to receive their reward.

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Gurpreet Singh, 21, one of the men honoured Tuesday, said they were first approached by a woman who said her friends were stuck and they needed to call 9-1-1. However, no one had cell service.

They put their heads together and remembered a video they had seen of a group of men in India removing their turbans to help pull someone to safety, so Singh said that’s what they decided to do.

“It was so cold there and the falls were so fast so we removed our turbans and made a rope with them,” he added.

Singh said they could see one of the men was so cold and scared and they knew they had to do something.

“We were so happy,” he added when the rescue was successful.

When asked about the significance of removing their turbans to rescue the men, Singh said, in these matters, the religious significance becomes secondary.

“If it’s one person’s life, we can save it,” he said. “We can tie it again as many times as we want but that life, we can’t bring it back.”

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Singh said they are all proud of their actions and representing their community.

“I think their actions were absolutely heroic,” Mehat told Global News. “I think their actions were selfless. They put their own needs behind to help two stranded hikers and I think it’s very remarkable.”

She said she has been a police officer for 21 years and has never heard about this type of rescue.

“We really here, as a detachment and as a community, show our support and congratulate them,” Mehat added.

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Click to play video: 'Hikers perform innovative rescue at Golden Ears waterfall'
Hikers perform innovative rescue at Golden Ears waterfall

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