A Yellowknife-area man does not want to be called a hero but he is being credited with possibly saving a man’s life after two boats crashed head-on Thursday on Great Slave Lake, not far from Yellowknife Bay.
Three men in total are probably thankful to be alive after the harrowing incident.
The crash happened about a 20 minute boat ride south from Yellowknife Bay in a stretch of islands known as Jackfish Alley.
Dano Leguerrier was nearby aboard his houseboat in the middle of the afternoon when he heard a loud crash.
He says he came outside and saw a small aluminum boat doing circles with no one onboard and the other boat up on the rocks.
“I jumped in my boat and went over and pulled the man out of the water just as he was going under and got him into my boat and brought him back to shore,” Leguerrier said. “He was cold and wet and shaken up but otherwise not it too bad shape. I wanted to get him out of the water before his boat ran over him.”
It’s not entirely clear how that boat eventually got stopped.
Leguerrier says one of the two men on the other boat hurt his back and he believes he went to hospital on his own.
“He was laying on his back on the bottom of his boat. He was in a lot of pain,” Leguerrier said.
It’s not believed an ambulance was ever called to the scene.
It’s not clear how far from the nearest road the incident took place.
He acknowledges that he may have saved the man’s life.
“But do not call me a hero. I just did what he would have done for me,” Leguierrier said.
He says he believes the man he pulled from the water was headed to Yellowknife from a tourist camp where he works.
Leguierrier said he did not get the man’s full name and he says he didn’t ever learn the identities of the other two men.
He adds nothing like that has ever happened while boating despite living on the lake and being on the lake frequently.
He said he did not want to lecture the public about boating safety after this incident because he does not know what caused the crash.
One thing he did point out though is that it is usually much windier out on the lake than it is in town and boaters should remember that when they head out.
Late Friday afternoon, RCMP told CKLB that they received a call for service at approximately 5:20 pm, on Thursday, regarding a boat that crashed on rocks in the North Arm Channel.
“RCMP called the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary to attend the scene, but upon arrival, no one was there. A third party witness stated that the collision happened early in the afternoon. The witness transported all parties back to Yellowknife. All parties are accounted for and some suffered minor injuries. This incident is being investigated by Yellowknife RCMP,” stated RCMP media relations officer Julie Plourde.