Mother who died saving six-year-old son in Lake Ontario identified
Published Monday, July 15, 2019 11:57AM EDT Last Updated Monday, July 15, 2019 7:39PM EDT
A mother who died after jumping into Lake Ontario over the weekend was trying to help her six-year-old son who got carried away from shore while on a floating device.
The 33-year-old woman, as well as three others, entered the body of water at Beachfront Park in Pickering, Ont., just east of Toronto, on Sunday just before 4 p.m. to assist the young boy in distress.
“It’s believed the mother’s six-year-old son was on an inflatable device when the wind caught it and took him away from shore,” investigators said in a news release issued on Monday.
Prior to police arriving on scene, a male bystander was able to swim back safely with the child.
The other bystanders helped bring the mother, who was unable to swim back alone, to shore.
Upon arrival at the scene, police said they located a woman who was “unresponsive and bystanders were administering CPR” on her.
Officers took over administering live-saving efforts on the woman before responding paramedics arrived at the scene.
The woman, identified by family as Nichole McWatters, was then taken to local hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Residents in the area at the time said witnessing the incident unfold was “heartbreaking” and “devastating.”
“As a parent, I think she did her job, one of her kids was in trouble and she went out there to save him,” a resident told CTV News Toronto at the scene. “Fortunately, the child survived, but the mom did not. But, as a parent, she did what she had to do.”