NEW GLASGOW – Feelings of gratitude filled the board room Saturday at the New Glasgow Police Service station for the presentation of Canadian Bravery awards.
“I feel pretty good,” said Jamie Jardine, the resident of Westville who was the subject of a successful rescue that led to the awards. “I can remember some of it, but it’s been two years.”
Later, Jardine had to wipe away tears as the events of July 5, 2011 were recalled while New Glasgow Police Const. Anthony Thomas and New Glasgow resident Donald Gunton received the Royal Canadian Humane Association’s Canada Bravery Awards.
Scotsburn resident Barbara Smith also received a certificate. “I didn’t think I needed recognition,” she said. “I’m just glad he’s here.”
The rescue occurred when Smith was waiting for the light to turn on Riverside Drive after stopping at a bank nearby.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who presented the pins and certificates, cited Smith’s “keen sense of awareness that something unusual was happening.”
Smith described what she called a “clanking” noise and noticed what turned out to be Jardine and his wheelchair that had fallen from the Samson trail into the East River near the George Street Bridge.
“All I could see was his arm. It was scary,” she said.
Smith saw a police car driven by Thomas and told him what she saw. Thomas drove around to where the trail passes through Rotary Park and met Gunton. They found Jardine strapped to his motorized wheelchair almost completely submerged in the river.
A rock kept the wheelchair from falling deeper into the rising tide in the river.
With no rope available, both Thomas and Gunton entered the river to keep Jardine’s face above water. The water was up to...