Constable Laura Monette saved a drowning woman in an indoor apartment pool on July 29 with the help of a mysterious bystander, police are saying.
The Ottawa Police Service posted a brief story to their website Monday afternoon detailing how Monette, in her first year on the job, was responding to a 9-1-1 call in the Vanier area.
Monette said it was a situation that required a quick response.
“I was already pulling off my vest and gun belt, knowing I was jumping in,” Monette said. “I didn’t have to think about it, my training just kicked in.”
She soon found out, not having the time to take off her police boots was perhaps her only “rookie mistake” — weighing her down and slowing her movements in the water.
That’s where he came in.
Before Monette could make the jump into ten feet of water, a young man appeared and offered to help with the dive.
She had to come up once for a breath, but the strange man did it all in one go. With their combined strength, Monette and the man lifted the debilitated woman — blue-faced and foaming at the mouth, police say — onto the side of the pool with the help of some bystanders. Monette took charge from there, checking for a pulse and initiating CPR.
Paramedics were soon on the scene to bring the woman to hospital. The woman survived thanks to the city’s response team and the aid of a civilian.
When the dust had settled and Monette wanted to thank the friendly neighbourhood hero, he had disappeared through the crowd.
“When I looked around for him, he was gone,” Monette said. “I didn’t get his name, but I wanted to tell him he was so brave to do what he did. She probably wouldn’t be alive if he hadn’t acted when he had.”
In the OPS publication, Monette said it’s important to call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible in situations like this.
Police say that in this particular situation, the woman was in the pool with a friend and that neither of them were experienced swimmers, such that the friend was unable to save the victim after the latter waded too far into the deep end and lost her footing.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019