PORT MOODY (NEWS1130) – A Good Samaritan credited with saving a little girl’s life at Port Moody’s White Pine Beach yesterday is urging parents to pay attention wherever bodies of water are involved.

Charlene Breti says the 22-month-old toddler was playing in the water by herself around 4 p.m. Her mother, aunt and another adult were supervising about five other kids at the time.

“The parent was not watching her at all for some length of time before this even happened, which I guess is why I was watching closely,” she says.

“The little girl was wandering around in the water by herself, and I went down closer to the water and then I looked away myself – I was there with my husband and two kids – and the next thing I knew I saw her, she was floating, upside down in the water.”

Breti says she grabbed the little girl as fast as she could, but by the time she reached her her eyes were closed and her lips blue.

“I gave her a couple good pats on the back, trying to bring it up and then she started making noises and crying.”

She says emergency crews arrived within 15 minutes and the girl was airlifted to hospital.

“I’m still pretty weirded out about it,” she says. “I don’t know what to say other than watch your children.”

Port Moody Police came down and took statements from witnesses.

“[The mother] has probably learned a pretty horrible lesson that she needed to learn, because it was pretty close,” says Breti.

Mitch Sokalski with Metro Vancouver says it’s crucial for parents to be responsible for their kids and talk to them about water safety.

There are no lifeguards at any lakes or beaches run by the district.
“Where it’s feasible, Metro Vancouver does provide life rings that can be used in the event of an emergency,” he says.

“Buntzen and Sasamat [Lakes] are the two most popular freshwater swim bodies in the Lower Mainland, and we just continue to encourage parents to take extra care to supervise their young children at all swim areas.”

He adds safety regulations at Metro beaches are the same as those at provincial parks.