'They have no clue how he survived': North Okanagan woman recounts husband's terrifying electrocution in creek | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'They have no clue how he survived': North Okanagan woman recounts husband's terrifying electrocution in creek

April Brooks, her child and the family's dogs Bella and Rocky are pictured in a submitted, undated photo. The two dogs were electrocuted and died after entering a creek on private property in Spallumcheen on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/April Brooks
July 24, 2017 - 4:36 PM

ARMSTRONG - A Spallumcheen man was rushed to hospital yesterday after getting electrocuted while trying to save his dogs from a creek that had a live electrical current in it.

April Brooks says her husband Cameron went down to the creek on the property Sunday evening, July 23, with their two dogs, Bella, a pug, and Rocky, a collie cross, to check an irrigation pump and let the dogs cool off — something they have done many times before.

It was taking him longer than usual to get back, prompting April to look down towards the creek.

“I then saw his arm hanging over the embankment. I ran over to see him in a paralyzed state,” April says through Facebook Messenger. “Asked him what happened and all he could say was he was sorry our dogs were dead. (After) pleading with him to tell me what exactly happened so I could get help he said he was electrocuted. I ran and grabbed the phone and called 911.”

Cameron was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital and miraculously released the next day. He suffered burns and bruises to his legs, his body is still stiff and there may be lasting health impacts, April says, but most importantly he’s alive.

“The doctors and everyone involved have been wonderful. They all have said they have no clue how he survived. I say the grace of God,” April says.

Since that terrifying moment when she found him nearly paralyzed, Cameron has told her more of what happened. He was on his way to clear the irrigation pump of debris when the first dog jumped into the water, yelped, and instantly went stiff.

“At that time it happened so fast the other dog… was already jumping in and had hit the water. My husband was jumping in about the same time but because of the first yelp — with instinct that something was wrong — he turned his body and reached for a small root sticking out of the ground,” April says. “At that point the electricity was so strong it was sucking his body in. He was on his hands and knees in the water inches from his chest when he was able to pull his body out of the water and crawl his way up our driveway and embankment.”

She believes that grabbing onto the root saved his life and can’t imagine what he went through in those painful minutes.

“My heart hurts for him in those moments,” she says.

She’s counting her blessings that their toddler was napping at the time and hadn’t gone down to the creek with them.

She wants to thank first responders, and in particular the Armstrong Fire Department, for their support during the traumatic incident.

“In that time of stress and fear the firefighters were incredible. They helped calm my scared toddler and my crying baby while I was a sobbing mess, they tried to revive our dogs and buried them for us afterward,” she says.

Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Chief Ian Cummings praised crews for their work at the scene.

“The guys did a fantastic job,” he says.

As a safety precaution, they ensured the electricity was de-energized upon arrival. B.C. Hydro was also on scene, Cummings says.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

As a general safety reminder, Cummings says you should always make sure you have a qualified electrician when dealing with electricity and water, and ensure all safety mechanisms are in place.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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