Five B.C. men receive bravery certificates for rescuing boy from river

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - Five men who rescued a three-year-old boy from a B.C. river where he was clinging to his battery-operated truck have received the solicitor general's certificate of bravery.
The men who'd been recognized as local heroes since they saved Demetrius Jones on July 12 said it was a miracle that he'd survived after being swept up in a current for a dozen kilometres on the Peace River.
The diaper-clad toddler was found crouching as he clung to the axel of his truck.
Doug Marquardt said finding him alive was an emotional experience.
"When we originally found him, you probably had five men with tears in their eyes because we all have children," he said. "Some of us have grandchildren so we were just absolutely amazed."
Jones had woken up in his grandparents' trailer in Peace Island Park at around 7:30 a.m. and decided to take off with his truck, which he apparently wanted to turn into a boat.
Police and campers began searching for him after his grandparents realized he was gone.
It wasn't until two hours later that the five men spotted him on the river.
Don Loewen swam to get to him out of the cold, deep river and said he and the other men first saw the red truck but not the boy.
He said they were elated to see he was OK.
"You have to be on the river to really know how much of a miracle it is," Loewen said. "There's been umpteen dozen river boaters, adult men in boats that didn't do what this guy did in a little plastic car. "
"The width of the car, and him sitting on top, if he moved two inches either way, it would roll over and he would have been gone," Loewen said.
"And he didn't do that for two-and-a-half hours, he didn't move two inches either way so if that isn't a miracle, nothing is."
Wayne Hotte called Jones' grandparents to let them know he was OK and even made sure they were the ones to get him off their boat.

Geographic location: B.C. river, Peace River, Peace Island Park

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