On June 1st, 2011 at approximately 5pm Lakeshore officers were dispatched to the Lakeshore Marina for two male youths in the water and having difficulty getting out of the water. Constable Dan Pillon was the first officer on scene and located two 14-year-old Lakeshore teens trying to climb up the break wall along the westside of the Belle River Pier. The youth were fighting 3 – 4ft swells and 66 degree water. As PC Pillon arrived the youths were hanging onto a towel which was lowered by a citizen, both the citizen and the youth were showing signs of fatigue.
PC Pillon and an off-duty firefighter took over and obtained some rope. They climbed down a ladder and tied the rope around each teen. The teens were having trouble holding on due to the cold water temperature and exhaustion from trying to fight the waves that were smashing against the break wall. The ladder did extend to the water line, and PC Pillon had to partially enter into the water to tie the rope and pull the youths up by their bathing trunks. Both teens were checked by paramedics and were released to their parents with abrasions to their legs and arms from being repeatedly smashed into the break wall by the forceful waters.
If not for the quick action of the citizen, firefighter and PC Pillon these teens could have faced more serious injuries or worse. The OPP warn citizens to always assess the environment, the weather conditions and physical abilities before venturing into unchartered waters.