Women help save teen from Englishman River near Parksville

The 17-year-old slipped into the cold, rushing river

A local family wants to use a scary incident at Top Bridge Regional Park near Parksville Feb. 8 as a safety warning, especially around the area’s rain-swollen rivers.

“My daughter was standing on the rocks and something slipped under her foot and she fell into the river,” said Dan Mackay, describing the 17-year-old as very careful and responsible.

“She wasn’t horsing around or anything, it was just an accident,” he said. “In a flash she was in the raging river struggling in the current and disappeared under the surface twice.”

A couple of women, one named Carla, were walking their dogs and heard yelling from the water. Mackay said they were instrumental in talking the young woman to the rocks and a spot where they were able to help her climb out.

“It was quite an effort by these women,” said Mackay.

The Wattam-Mackay family wanted to thank everyone involved in the short but traumatic incident including paramedics and the fire department, and remind people to be careful.

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