'I wouldn’t call me a hero': says Goderich, Ont. man who rescued young girl

A Goderich man is being hailed as “a hero” after pulling a seven-year-old girl to shore, after she and her inflatable beach toy drifted away from shore.

“I wouldn’t call me a hero. If anyone else was in my situation, they’d do the same thing to save that little girl,” says the rescuer, Tyson Carter.

While back visiting family on Saturday of the Labour Day weekend, and out for a walk on Goderich’s shoreline boardwalk, the 20-year-old Carter heard screams of “help, help, call 911,” around 10 a.m.

He could see a young girl about 50 metres offshore floating by, quite quickly, on an inflatable beach toy.

“Someone else did jump in and I was watching to see if they got to her. But, she was moving too fast. The guy wasn’t going to make it, so I decided to get out in front, and sort of intercept her before she got too far,” he recalls.

The girl wasn’t wearing a lifejacket, so Carter ran out onto a rock jetty and waded into the water.

“The water wasn’t too choppy, just really windy and really, really cold. The water was freezing, actually. I don’t know why they were out there swimming in the first place,” he says.

After catching his breath, Carter made it to the frightened girl.

“When I got there, the little girl didn’t say a word. She was clearly scared. And then when we got back to shore, the parents came up and thanked me. They were really appreciative,” he says.

While he’s uncomfortable with the word “hero,” bystanders and members of the OPP on scene, say he’s a “hero” indeed.

“Unfortunately we have seen this situation in other parts of the province, where it didn’t end this way, and we’ve had fatalities, young and old,” says Huron OPP Constable, Jamie Stanley. “We don’t know what could have happened here, but there was the potential for a death there.”

Tyson, who attends school at Western University in London, says he was just happy to be at the right place, at the right time, and that everyone is safe.