U.S. residents visiting B.C. help save drowning man in North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Several Good Samaritans from the United States have saved a man from drowning in British Columbia.

Brian Laverentz, a medical student from San Antonio, Texas, says he and his wife were honeymooning in the Vancouver area and were visiting Twin Falls on when they spotted a man in trouble in the frigid water.

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Laverentz says he has a long history of emergency medicine but didn't think he could safely pull the man from the swollen river, when another man leaped in to grab the unconscious victim.

The second man turned out to be a lifeguard visiting with his family from Chicago and Laverentz says they hauled the 24-year-old man to the shore and began performing chest compressions.

The Chicago man's daughter, a competitive swimmer, also assisted with the rescue and CPR, and they managed to revive the victim by the time first responders arrived.

North Vancouver assistant fire chief Jeremy Duncan says without the bystanders, the outcome would have been very different and he wishes the Chicago family had left their contact information so they could be thanked.

Laverentz says the man is lucky that a group of strangers with specific skills was nearby at the right time.

"I just thought it was also serendipitous that we had a lifeguard father, a competitive swimmer daughter, who also knew CPR, me (with) about 10 years of emergency medicine experience, my wife who has lived around people in the medical field forever and helped direct a bunch of people," says Laverentz.

"I don't know if he could have had any better luck as far as having a team of strangers."

The victim was taken to hospital for further treatment, but Laverentz says the man was talking and able to give them his name by the time park rangers had arrived. (News1130)

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