Being at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. This woman did them all!
Sally Wallick, 27, can rightfully be considered a "guardian angel" after she rescued a fellow paddler from the freezing Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada.
On Friday, April 30, Sally was recording her trip to the lake when she found a man in the water. He seemed to be in the water for quite some time, at least 45 minutes.
"I noticed right away he wasn't really okay. I tried to keep it light not to panic him. He was past the point of ... being panicky which was concerning. I tried to keep it light, but inside I was like, 'Oh no, this guy needs help right away,'" said Sally in a statement later.
Sally immediately urged the man to hold onto her boat as she tried to reach back to the shore. She assured him to leave his kayak and hold onto the front of her boat. "We need to get you to shore because your lips are purple and you're really cold. Leave the kayak, we'll find it I promise but grab on to my boat."
"Good job, keep going. Remember to breathe. Okay, here we go. We're going. That's good now," she continued assuring the almost limp man while trying to turn her kayak back.
There was a quick, dramatic turn of events when Sally sensed the man's condition was critical and asked him to lie across her boat. Sally's boat became tippy quickly, and she fell into the water too. Fortunately, another boat was nearby that time, and Sally managed to flag down for help.
Watch the video of the incredible rescue here:
"I'm just grateful that it all worked out," Sally said later after the rescue. "I do kind of think about what would have happened maybe if the pontoon boat didn't come."
About the man who later recovered, Sally thinks, he was perfectly equipped but failed to predict the sudden change in weather. "The most important thing is to understand, especially this time of year is how unpredictable weather conditions are. You should have someone with you. You should have people [on shore] know you are out there."
Sally, a musician, a teacher, and an efficient swimmer, wants everyone to take safety lessons and stay well informed about unpredictable weather while kayaking. She initially uploaded the rescue video in May via Storyful, but recently it was shared in TikTok and since then has gathered more than a million views. Sally was praised for her courageous act and quick presence of mind.
Kayakers are a special breed of people. Check out more videos, here.
Be safe out there. Do you have any incredible stories to share? Let us know in the comments.