On August 18th UCTE Local 60905 co-workers Herb MacLaine and Benjamin Gallant were in the right place at the right time.
They were replacing glass on the Seacowhead lighthouse when Herb heard a cry for help from the beach below. He noticed a man in the water who appeared to be having some difficulties and a women running up from the beach. Herb asked the woman if he needed help and she replied that she didn’t know, but she was getting a life jacket from their car.
Herb went inside and told his co-worker what was going on. They got a rope and went down to the beach. The man in the water was panicking. Herb and Benjamin tied the rope to the life jacket and after a couple attempts we were able to get it to the man in the water who was out about 50 ft. from shore. They were able to pull the man to shore only to have him be slammed against the rocks by the surf.
Once the man was on the shore and he gained some strength, Herb and Benjamin realized that they could not haul him up over the embankment. They had the woman hold on to the rope, which was still attached to the man, and they went back to their truck where they retrieved an extension ladder. They dropped the ladder over the bank and the man was able to climb up on his own.
After the man caught his composure he gave the co-workers a hearty handshake and thanked them for what they had done. The thing that I will remember most said Herb was “when he said that he thought he was going to die in front of his children”. We later found out that the family was from Torontoand visiting P.E.I. His wife who was a former Islander and lifeguard had warned him not to jump into the water because of the surf conditions.
Both Herb and Benjamin were pleased with the results and that by chance they happened to be in the right place at the right time that day. It turned out a good day at the beach.