Young man credited with saving family after jet ski capsizes on Ottawa River
The Ottawa Fire Service is thanking a young man for helping to save a family after their jet ski capsized on the Ottawa River Wednesday.
A water rescue team was called to the area of Lane Street and Bayview Drive in Constance Bay at around 1 p.m.
Two boaters in the area helped bring the three people back to shore, but a young man on his own jet ski was on the scene before the boats, OFS said, and kept the people in the water safe.
"A young man named Jayden stopped on his own jet ski to help the three individuals before they were brought back to shore by the two boats that came later," OFS said in a Twitter thread. "Jayden got the youngest child on his jet ski and allowed the older teenager to hold on the side.
"The third person, the adult, was at risk of losing their lifejacket, did not know how to swim and their muscles were seizing. Jayden held onto the adult's hand until more help arrived. Also, Jayden did all this while calling 911 for help."
OFS said the two children and the adult involved are doing well and their watercraft has been recovered.
Jayden Lamarche didn’t hesitate to help the people in distress in the choppy waters off Constance Bay.
"One of them waved me down and said their dad didn't really know how to swim and I just went from there and did my best to handle the situation calmly and called 911," the 18-year-old said.
"They were holding onto the sides and they were struggling to turn it over and get it to flip back over."
Lamarche said one of the people was crying, and he had her sit on his jet ski while helping her father and older sister.
"Their dad started telling me that they couldn’t swim and that their lifejacket was slipping and that he was having trouble so I went over and I got closer so I had his youngest grab onto my jet ski and get up."
The Ottawa Fire Service says the jet ski was a rental, but it's not clear what happened with the vessel.
Ottawa Fire's district chief is now trying to recruit Jayden to become a volunteer firefighter in Dunrobin. Lamarche was presented with a coin for his bravery and hard work.
"I don’t think I’m a hero," Lamarche said. "I just think I was doing the right thing and I was there at the right time."