‘I feel proud:’ 17-year-old Saanich girl jumps into ocean to save three strangers


 WATCH: A Saanich teenager’s small stature didn’t stop her from jumping into the ocean Wednesday to rescue three strangers at risk of drowning. April Lawrence has her story.


Shauna Pearson and her mom Tasha Caissie were a little emotional Friday as they remembered the terrifying scene that unfolded at the Gorge Waterway Wednesday afternoon.

“The screaming got more intense then someone was screaming help me and I was like oh my gosh somebody is drowning,” said 17-year-old Shauna Pearson.

A 53-year-old Victoria man had no pulse when paramedics, firefighters, and police officers arrived at a dock on the Gorge Waterway Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. and performed CPR.

They were able to restore a heartbeat and the man was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition but is expected to survive. That is partly thanks to 17-year-old Shauna Pearson.

She was having a picnic with her mom on the rocks across from the dock when they heard the screams ? Caissie grabbed her phone to call 911.

“I had enough time to look down at my phone and call and looked up and there’s Shauna and she’s right in there without a second thought,” she said.

Two of the man’s friends had jumped in to save him, but now they too were in trouble.

Pearson, wearing leggings and a sweatshirt, jumped into the frigid water and swam out to the three people who were floating away from shore.

“They needed it, I felt it in the pit of my stomach it was an internal feeling,” she said.

“A part of me was like ‘oh my gosh what are you doing, Shauna, really,’ but another part of me was like you are actually doing something pretty brave so a proud mom moment but also a scared mom moment for sure,” said Caissie.

She helped guide them toward the dock, before she too, ran into trouble.

“When I couldn’t feel my body anymore I was trying to ask for help and I couldn’t even speak and in that moment I couldn’t talk I was like oh my god,” Pearson said.

She used her last ounce of energy to get onto the dock and awaited help. She had hypothermia and was taken to the hospital along with the three others she helped rescue.

“I feel proud and proud of the people who tried to help him as well, they had risked their lives as well,” Pearson said.

The modest teen says she never thought twice about risking her own life to save three others.

“I cried I honestly bawled my eyes out once I found out he was OK because I didn’t know and just seeing him in that condition it broke my heart,” the teen said.

The heartfelt rescuer was surprised by her own strength that day and thankful she was there to help.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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