WARNING: This story accommodates distressing particulars
A 78-year-old man nearly drowned after he drove down the boat launch at Bayfront Park round 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday, along with his automobile ending up in Hamilton Harbour.
Shawn MacNeil and Wes Kassem have been fishing at Bayfront Park after they seen the man’s white automobile half-submerged within the water.
Hamilton police say MacNeil, who jumped in to rescue the man, is “a courageous citizen” who “made each effort to rescue the motive force,” and the motive force was “taken to hospital in non-life-threatening situation”.
“We by no means actually fish that spot,” Kassem informed CBC Hamilton.
“Honestly, that was a fishing journey I’ll always remember,” MacNeil mentioned.
Kassem mentioned he did not see the automobile drive down the boat launch, however he heard from others on the scene that the motive force hit a curb and misplaced management of the automobile.
In the video Kassem recorded, it took simply over a minute for the inside of the automobile to turn out to be absolutely submerged. The driver managed to get his door open, however it’s unclear why he was unable to go away the automobile.
In below two minutes, Kassem and MacNeil realized considered one of them would have to drag the man out.
“Just seeing the air bubbles, we have been like, ‘Yeah, this man goes to die proper in entrance of us,'” Kassem informed CBC Hamilton.
In the video, a panicked MacNeil mentioned, “Someone’s gotta go in. Oh my God, he will die,” earlier than stripping right down to his lengthy johns and leaping into the water.
MacNeil mentioned that when he realized he needed to rescue the man, his first thought was to ensure he had dry garments to placed on after, and to attempt to make it to the automobile in a single soar.
“I believed I would make it, however I didn’t,” he mentioned.
MacNeil mentioned he pulled the man out of the automobile and realized he wasn’t respiration.
“I’ve seen [CPR] within the films a few instances, however I’ve by no means truly had any formal first-aid coaching, I simply sort of knew chest compressions, blow into the mouth and hope for one of the best,” he mentioned.
In the video, MacNeil is heard screaming, “I would like a f–king paramedic, man. I do not know what I’m doing right here.”
Despite having no formal CPR coaching, MacNeil mentioned he was capable of clear the man’s airways and restart his respiration, saving his life.
He mentioned there have been “plenty of feelings going by my head at that moment, however largely simply reduction,” when he realized the man was respiration.
“That’s once I began sort of freaking out,” he mentioned. “I seen the cops coming and I used to be like, ‘Get over right here as quick as potential and ensure he stays respiration.'”
MacNeil and a Hamilton police officer saved the man above water whereas they waited for a fishing boat pushed by a Hamilton police sergeant to drag the man out of the water.
If you see somebody in bother, ‘assist them’
MacNeil mentioned the very fact he saved a man’s life feels “surreal.”
“I’m completely happy I used to be capable of assist him,” he mentioned, including he hopes the man goes on to reside life.
Kassem mentioned he’s “actually proud” of his good friend, and, “He did that for a random. I do know he’ll at all times have my again it doesn’t matter what.”
Kassem and MacNeil have been buddies for a few years, are from Haldimand County and work collectively at Kassem’s equipment restore enterprise.
MacNeil mentioned for him, what’s necessary is “if anybody sees somebody in bother, they assist them.”