Ken Brown was at the First Street pier in Tofino, BC Monday afternoon when he saw a seaplane crash into a water taxi.
The Ahousaht man unleashed his own water taxi and ran to the crash site.
Rescuers involved in the Tofino disaster honored
As it approached the plane, it began to sink forward. An airplane door opened and a boy appeared.
“I hold out my hand and then I say to this kid, ‘Okay, you have to come to me.’ Then it comes to me. I take him on board and he’s shaking, ”he said.
Brown then helped the boy’s father and two other passengers into his boat and brought them ashore.
5 sent to the hospital after a seaplane capsized in the waters of Tofino, BC
The pilot of the plane was also brought safely to shore.
The accident was the second in waters off Tofino in four months. In July, a seaplane capsized and crashed, sending five people to hospital.
Days after the collision, Brown says he is still trying to process what happened.
“The boy who was on the plane, I have a son of the same age,” he said. “I’m still in a daze, just speechless.”
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Almost six years after Monday’s rescue day, Brown helped rescue passengers from a whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino in 2015.
Brown was among the first on the scene when the Leviathan II capsized, sending 27 passengers and crew into the water.
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Six people died in the crash and the swift effort was credited with saving the other 21 passengers on board.
Brown said he helped save 13 people on the Leviathan II, along with all four in Monday’s collision.
He says he’s grateful for the accolades he’s received from his community, but he’s not entirely comfortable being called a hero, with one notable exception.
“I get soaked when my kids call me a hero,” he said. “I’ll hug them and say, ‘Yes, your dad is a hero.’
– with archives from The Canadian Press
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