Canadian drowns while trying to save drowning woman
A Moncton, N.B. man drowned while trying to save a Filipina swimmer in Casiguran, Aurora Province on Wednesday (Dember 21) CBC News reports.
Citing GMA News, CBC said both the man and the woman drowned.
Gerald Arthur of Moncton, N.B., 48, was holidaying in the Philippines with his Filipina girlfriend when the accident happened.
Arthur’s friend, Stephen Walton, said Arthur was travelling with his girlfriend, who is from the Philippines, and by all indications was enjoying the trip.
GMA News said the woman who drowned was also a Filipina but not Gerald’s girlfriend. She had become an American citizen and was also a tourist in the area.
Looked forward to trip
“It’s hard to grasp,” said Walton. “He was looking forward to that trip so much, and he and his new girlfriend Sally were having fun … and you couldn’t write a more tragic story in my mind.”
Arthur’s actions were an example of bravery at its best, said Walton, who describes Arthur as a kind person who loved his humour.
“Most of us know that one person that doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and doesn’t have an enemy in the world,” said Walton. “A pretty gentle soul — that was Gerald for sure.
“Gerald was pretty far from the athletic type and I’m pretty sure he was just at a modest skill of swimming and you know compared to someone … who would be an excellent swimmer, who may go in to save somebody,” said Walton. “Obviously that would be good of them, but not necessarily so brave — it might come pretty easy to them.”
Barely knew victim
“But Gerald, I’m sure that wasn’t the case. But he would have overcame … any fear he had of going in there just to try and save that person who he barely knew.”
Close friend Asied Debly says Arthur was quiet, yet friendly, meek, unselfish and easygoing.
A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Canadian officials are providing consular assistance to the family.