Five recognized for heroic efforts in pulling man from Fraser River

Citizens receive Abbotsford Police Board commendations

  • Jun. 25, 2016 3:00 p.m.
Roger Williams (middle) receives an Abbotford Police Board commendation on Tuesday from Police Chief Bob Rich and Mayor Henry Braun.

Roger Williams (middle) receives an Abbotford Police Board commendation on Tuesday from Police Chief Bob Rich and Mayor Henry Braun.

Five citizens received commendations from the Abbotsford Police Board this week for their roles in attempting to save the life of a man who jumped off the Mission Bridge last November.

Roger Williams, Jessie Garrison, Martin Hanle, Heather Hanle and Ron Thomas were acknowledged during the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The first four were in vehicles on Nov. 29, when they saw a man park his car mid-span on the bridge, get out and jump into the fast-moving, frigid waters below.

Williams – a member of Mission Search and Rescue – and Garrison, a registered nurse, pulled over, got out of their vehicle, looked over the bridge railing and saw that the victim was still moving in the water.

The Hanles also got out of their vehicle and saw the man below.

All four then got back into their cars and drove to the Mission Harbour Boat Launch to locate a boat to use for a rescue.

Thomas, who was the marine operator, immediately took Williams, Garrison and Martin Hanle out on the Fraser River to help locate the victim, while Heather Hanle waited on the dock.

When they found the victim, Williams and Martin pulled him from the water, and Garrison began CPR.

They arrived back at the boat launch, where Heather assisted Garrison with CPR until paramedics arrived. The man did not survive.

“However, the quick-thinking, selfless and truly extraordinary actions of (the five citizens) afforded the victim a chance for survival – a chance he would not otherwise have had,” said Mayor Henry Braun in presenting the group with their commendations.

(Photos below: Pictured receiving their Abbotsford Police Board commendations from Police Chief Bob Rich and Mayor Henry Braun are Martin Hanle and Jessie Garrison. Not available for photos were Heather Hanle and Ron Thomas.)