January 14, 2015 - 11:07 AM
PENTICTON - A Penticton firefighter was commended for bravery during a presentation at the Jan. 14, 2015 meeting of Penticton city council.
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit presented firefighter Curtis Gibbons with a Certificate of Commendation from the office of the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his assistance in helping a drowning swimmer in 2012.
Gibbons was walking with his wife near the last set of stairs on the river channel before it enters Skaha Lake on June 10, 2012. Hearing people yelling for help, Gibbons and his wife ran under the bridge and saw someone struggling to keep their head above water. People nearby were calling for help, but could not themselves reach the swimmer.
The water is shallow for quite a distance in that area, so Gibbons ended up running a long ways into the lake to reach the swimmer, who was being carried out by the channel current and couldn’t overcome it to swim back to shore. Gibbons reached the swimmer, instructed him to roll onto his back and dragged him approximately 100 feet to a boater who noticed the incident unfolding. They made it to shore just as emergency responders were arriving on scene.
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