A Filipino father of four died while rescuing his autistic son from drowning in a lake in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.
Family tragedy: Arnulf Salazar, 53, drowned on July 17 after swimming after his non-verbal 10-year-old son Zac who drifted into deeper water at Chehalis Lake, reported CTV News.
- Arnulf and his children were at the lake for a family picnic when the tragedy happened.
- According to his 18-year-old daughter Zsalve, the lake had shallow waters, but they did not know it had an abrupt deep drop.
- “It was just like a slip of the moment where Zac just started to drift apart from us,” she was quoted as saying.
- Arnulf reportedly jumped into the water and managed to reach his son but struggled to get him to safety.
- A good Samaritan named Nick McCleary saw the commotion and swam out to help but could only save the son.
- “When I got to the man and boy, the man passed me the boy… I told him that I had him, I’ve got him,” McCleary recalled, according to Burnaby Now.
- “I was just so out of breath, I couldn’t go back anymore,” he said. “I really wish I could have done more. He was a father of four. I’m a dad myself.”
A terrible loss: Arnulf was later brought to land by a diver who was at the scene, but he did not survive despite attempts by the family, and later the emergency responders, to revive him using CPR.
- Arnulf, who worked as a glazier, is survived by his son Zac, Zac’s twin brother, who is also autistic, his daughter Zsalve, a 22-year-old son and his wife.
- Zsalve described her dad as a “great father” that she “looked up to.”
- A fundraising campaign, set up on GoFundMe to help the grieving family, has raised over 32,000 Canadian dollars (over $25,000) out of its CA$40,000 ($31,000) goal as of this writing.