Bystander rescues little girl from strong river current in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bystander rescues little girl from strong river current in Kamloops

Shannon Shaw's kids playing in the South Thompson River in Kamloops. She teaches her children to "respect the river" and play safely.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Shannon Shaw
August 10, 2021 - 6:00 PM

A Kamloops mother dove into the South Thompson River yesterday to rescue a little girl from drowning.

Shannon Shaw says the girl was in distress and screaming as the current pulled her under and further away from the shore.

Shaw was with her family at the beach when the incident happened. She said she was watching the girl and her sister going further into deeper, more dangerous water and was prepared to respond.

“My family was at a semi private beach enjoying the day,” Shaw said. “My kids were right there in the water in front of me, but a man next to us had two little girls that I didn’t think he was paying close enough attention to. He would tell them not to go in too far, then get distracted by playing with his dogs.

"I would say the girls were no more than six or seven-years-old. The little one got caught in the current and it started taking her down. Then she started screaming. I took off my sunglasses and bolted into the water with my husband Matt right behind me. My mother instinct kicked in.”

Shaw said she and her husband were able to pull the girl into safety.

“The little girl was crying and I held her and told her this should be a lesson that you guys shouldn’t be out there,” she said. “My kids are not allowed to go out past their waists. The river fluctuates in its levels and it has currents and unseen drop-offs.”

Shaw said the man did not show the level of gratitude and concern for his children’s safety that she had expected when she brought his daughter into safety.

“I was furious,” she said. “But I didn’t want to have a confrontation in front of all the kids.”

Shaw said she has spent years swimming on the South Thompson River and her children are strong swimmers, but she still teaches her kids to respect the river.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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