Fort Langley dragon boaters receive Red Cross award for heroic rescue

A dragon boat team made up entirely of breast cancer survivors has been recognized for a life-saving act of heroism in the spring.

On July 11, Canadian Red Cross presented the entire Abreast with FORTitude crew with a Red Cross First Aid & Water Safety Rescuer Award, to acknowledge their bravery and heroics in saving a drowning man’s life.

The team was practising on Fort Langley’s Bedford Channel in April when they heard a call for help.

A man who had been on the water rowing had accidently fallen into the cold, swift water while exiting his boat.

He could not swim.

With the assistance of an onlooker, the team paddled at race pace toward the man.

The dragon boat team members pulled up alongside the man, tossed him their life bag and personal flotation device (PFD), and guided him to shore where paramedics were waiting

“I am very proud of my teammates and that is why I nominated them for this award,” team member Cindy Reimer said. “I am so impressed that we stayed calm and did not panic, we listened to our coach and steersperson and did our best to get to the man as quickly as we could to help him.”

The Rescuer Award recognizes acts of humanity that use Red Cross skills and training learned through water safety, first aid, and swim programs.

“What Abreast with FORTitude did took tremendous courage and teamwork,” said Tania Burgi, Red Cross water safety program representative. “We encourage everyone to be safe in, on and around the water and, most importantly, wear a PFD.”

Canadian Red Cross first aid, swimming and water safety programs provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to prevent injury, perform CPR, provide first aid assistance, learn to swim, and improve their overall awareness of water safety.

To learn more about Red Cross services in B.C. and Yukon, visit redcross.ca/bc

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