RCMP in Nanaimo are being credited with saving a distraught woman's life after finding her in the frigid waters of Millstone River early New Years Day.
According to Cst. Gary O'Brien officers responded to a report from an individual, around 7:30 a.m., who claimed a woman had just run through his yard, jumped over a fence and was dodging in and out of traffic on Bowen Road.
"When officers arrived, the woman could not be found so they started foot patrols. After an exhaustive 30 minute search she was found standing in the middle of the Millstone River, near the Quarterway bridge in waist deep water about ten feet from shore," explained O'Brien.
An officer desperately tried to get the woman's attention upon realizing she was quickly succumbing to the effects of hypothermia. He later commented she kept uttering “ let me die”, ”just shoot me”.
O'Brien claimed that the officer then took action climbing out towards her on an extended branch, trying to reach her with the aid of a long branch and his extended baton, but with no luck. Another officer threw a rescue rope to her, but this too was ignored.
"When other officers arrived and the decision was made to go into the freezing water. Wading through chest deep water two officers managed to grab hold of her and in doing so, pulled her out and towards the members on shore," said O'Brien.
BC Paramedics waiting on shore wrapped her in blankets and transported her to Nanaimo Regional General hospital for treatment of hypothermia. The 40-year-old woman was later admitted for observation under the Mental Health Act.
“In the world of policing, you come to expect the unexpected and this is exactly what these officers did. They are also very happy their efforts saved the female and that she is getting the help she needs. The officers will also be considered for an award that reflects their involvement in the rescue,”stated O’Brien.
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