12:30 p.m., March 11)
rescued after snowmoblie falls into swollen Bearbrook
By Fred Sherwin
Jansen, 6, spent 20 minutes in the Bearbrook
Creek and an hour perched in a tree before
being rescued and sent to CHEO where he was
treated and later released. Photo courtesy
if the Ottawa Citizen
Navan resident Mike Ruthven took his six-year-old grandson
Cole Jansen out for a snowmobile ride through the woods
near his home last Sunday he had no idea of the ordeal
that awaited them.
than 10 minutes from his home, Ruthven came across a partially
submerged bridge spanning Bearbrook Creek which had become
swollen from rain and melting snow.
thought, OK, well be in four or five inches of water.
That doesnt make a difference. I thought wed
cross slowly, Ruthven recently recounted in the
Ottawa Citizen. Its
a lot deeper than I thought from the flooding. The current
pushed us off the trail into the creek."
seconds the snowmobile they had been riding on sunk to
the bottom of the creek, leaving Ruthven and his grandson
struggling to try and get back to shore.
Cole clinging to his back, Ruthven tried to battle through
the current and thin ice in water that was over his head.
Unable to make much headway in the 150-foot wide creek,
he decided to swim to a tree about 75 feet from the shore.
surveying the situation, Ruthven knew their only hope
was for him to swim for shore an get help. But that meant
leaving Cole in the tree, wet, cold and afraid.
stayed with him about a half-hour, talking to him, telling
him he had to stay in the tree no matter what, and then
I started for the shore," said Ruthven who quickly
made his way back to his house and called 9-1-1.
Ruthven talked to the 9-1-1 operator, a panicked Tracey
Charlsey rushed to the creek to check on her son.
was running down the path in my slippers screaming his
name," said Charsley.
she had arrived on the scene, Cole was sitting in the
tree with his feet daggling in the water, just as Ruthven
had left him.
first Cole was crying, but then the industrious youngster
decided to take advantage of his predicament.
was saying that if he wasn't going to die, could he get
a video game," recalled Charsley who immediately
first person to arrive on the scene was with the Navan
fire station. He quickly realized the severity of the
situation and called for backup. Several Ottawa Fire Service
personnel showed up, but were unable to reach the stranded
an inflafable boat was brought in, and as an emergency
helicopter circled overhead, they lifted Cole from the
tree an brought him to dry land.
entire rescue mission took about an hour from start to
finish. Cole was in the water for about 20 minutes before
his granfather was able to place him in the sanctuary
of the tree.
being plucked by the tree, Cole was rushed to CHEO where
he was treated for exposure and later released.
worked out fine in the end, said Ruthven.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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