Two police officers are being credited with saving a woman’s life July 29 at Sunset Point in Collingwood.
Shortly before 6 p.m., Collingwood and The Blue Mountains OPP was notified of a woman in distress in deep water. She was not wearing a life-jacket. As her husband entered the water to attempt to save her, two OPP officers arrived on scene, states a news release from the local police detachment.
The woman was about 30 metres from shore and was screaming for help, states the police news release. The officers removed their police equipment and entered the water to try to save the woman, who was swimming against a strong current. She was brought safely to shore with assistance from the two officers.
Collingwood police spokesperson Const. Trevor McKean, also a life-long Collingwood resident, said Sunset Point's swimming areas can sometimes have a serious undertow current that can pull on a swimmer and cause panic. He also noted the water was choppy at the time of the rescue.
"Officers didn't take long to get there, though it would seem like forever [for someone in distress]," said McKean, noting the response took only a few minutes. Officers removed their utility belts and vests - anything that might pull them under the water – before swimming out to the woman.
Both officers are "athletes in their own right," said McKean, adding one officer has done triathlons, so is an experienced swimmer.
“Thanks to the heroic actions of the officers, a tragedy was averted, and the woman was reunited with her family,” police said in the release.
The coast guard was notified of the incident and paramedics were standing by on the beach when the woman was brought to shore. She was checked by paramedics but did not go to the hospital, said McKean.
“The OPP would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to swim with a buddy. In a natural body of water like a river or lake, conditions can change quickly and cause even experienced swimmers to become overwhelmed by the conditions. Wear a personal floatation device and, when possible, swim with another person or where there are trained lifeguards.”