Curiosity of a 10-year-old little girl landed her waist deep in the brutally cold Nicomekl River Tuesday morning.
That afternoon, she was at home, warmed up, unharmed, and cuddling with a very grateful mother.
“She’s fine. She’s safe,” her mother told the Langley Advance. “She’s all warmed up.”
The little Langley City girl has a lot to be grateful for this holiday season, after being plucked from the near freezing river.
“She doesn’t remember exactly what happened,” Mom said. But, the youngster was able to recount that while walking to school she grew curious to see if there was ice in the river. She was crossing the traffic bridge on 53rd Avenue, just west of Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary, when she somehow fell in.
“She doesn’t know how she slipped. Next thing she knew, she was in the river,” said Mom, who was called to the scene by friends who were in the area.
Apparently several classmates and parents were crossing the bridge overhead, and others were walking on the trail below, when they all heard a series of faint cries for help coming from the water. They discovered the little girl several feet out from the river’s edge.
Multiple calls immediately went in to 9-1-1.
Emergency crews were deployed to help with the swift-water rescue at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, confirmed Langley City Fire Rescue Capt. Murray Hess.
Firefighters were quickly able to access the river off the trail below the bridge, putting one member into the water to pull her to safety.
No one seems to know, yet, how long the little girl was in the water, Hess said.
She was rushed up on the bridge deck to awaiting fire trucks, stripped of all her wet clothing and boots, dried off, and bundled into blankets in the confines of the warm fire truck cab to prevent hypothermia.
She was conscious and alert when paramedics and firefighters transferred her to an awaiting ambulance and transported her and a very “grateful” mother to hospital.
The little girl was checked out, appears uninjured, and was sent home a few hours later, said Mom, who was expressing her heartfelt thanks on scene – as she stepped out of the fire truck – and again later that afternoon. She wanted to thank all the emergency responders and other “heroes” who came to her daughter’s aid.
“We’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon at home. It’s cuddling time at home, for sure,” she told the Advance Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, to recover, the lone firefighter who went in the water after her, only required a hot shower back at the firehall.
Many people have been speaking up on Facebook, saying a passerby, Amanda Larsen played a key role in the rescue, as well.
Larsen has since posted a clarification, shrugging off any accolades.
“The ‘lone firefighter’ who jumped in the water held her up so I could reach to pull her. I was already down there and unable to reach her myself. It doesn’t matter, though. The little girl is safe, and that’s what matters,” Larsen said.