Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23



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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney






(Posted 12:30 p.m., March 11)
Six-year-old rescued after snowmoblie falls into swollen Bearbrook Creek

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cole 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

When 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.

Less 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.

"I thought, OK, we’ll be in four or five inches of water. That doesn’t make a difference. I thought we’d cross slowly,” Ruthven recently recounted in the Ottawa Citizen. “It’s a lot deeper than I thought from the flooding. The current pushed us off the trail into the creek."

Within 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.

With 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.

After 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.

"I 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.

While Ruthven talked to the 9-1-1 operator, a panicked Tracey Charlsey rushed to the creek to check on her son.

"I was running down the path in my slippers screaming his name," said Charsley.

When 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.

At first Cole was crying, but then the industrious youngster decided to take advantage of his predicament.

"He was saying that if he wasn't going to die, could he get a video game," recalled Charsley who immediately said yes.

The 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 boy.

Finally, 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.

The 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.

After being plucked by the tree, Cole was rushed to CHEO where he was treated for exposure and later released.

“Everything worked out fine in the end,” said Ruthven.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12

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