WATCH: A Cowichan Bay man survived a terrifying near drowning on his property and wants to thank the rescuers whose quick actions saved him. Marty Edgington slipped down a deep muddy bank on his property and became trapped up to his mouth in mud and water Monday. Then, with hypothermia setting in, his rescuers arrived. Skye Ryan reports.
As rivers and streams around Marty Edgington’s home boiled to life with torrential rainfall Wednesday, closing nearby Cowichan Bay Road to traffic and marooning a driver who underestimated the flood waters, the 70-year-old looked on at it all, grateful to be alive.
“I was sinking, I was going down,” said Marty, recalling his near drowning on his property Monday. “I knew I was in a bad spot but I couldn’t do much about it,” he said. “I was covered in the slime from the bottom and there’s nothing to grab hold of down there and so everytime I would grab something, it would slide right off.”
The Cowichan Bay man was out pounding posts around a pond on his property Monday, to make it safer, when around 11 a.m. he slipped and went down to the bottom of the pond. He was then submerged in thick mud up to his mouth. He was unable to get out and all he could do was call for help.
“I could hear him calling,” said his wife Linda.
“So I finally went around far enough that I could see his head sticking out there,” she said pointing to the muddy pond, were all she could see was his face in the mud.”
His wife Linda couldn’t reach him with all the mud giving way under her feet, so she raced to neighbours and frantically called 911 for help as rain fell on them. Marty kept submerging further.
“The second time I went down I sat at the bottom I said well this is it,” said Marty. “[Then] I thought, no, I’m not ready yet,” he added defiantly.
RCMP were the first to arrive at the scene and visible by the picture they took, they had no time to wait for rescue crews.
“All I had was my nose and my mouth out of the water,” said Marty.
“He kept saying hurry up,” said Linda. “Hurry up and going I can’t hold on any longer, I keep slipping.”
So the RCMP officers had to think quickly, grabbing a garden hose that was nearby. One officer rappelled down the bank with it tied around his waist, as five other officers helped complete the rescue. Each was part of a human link saved Edgington from the mud he was sinking in.
“So they grabbed a garden hose that was nearby,” said Sgt. Chris Swain of Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP. “Made do, tied it around one of the officer’s waist’s and went down the bank into the water and as a group they sort of helped move this guy back onto the bank and move this guy up.”
“The crew that were here, awesome,” Marty said.
“I’ve never seen so many policemen in one spot. So fast.”