Departure Bay at night. (News Bulletin file photo)

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

A Nanaimo resident living by the beach at Departure Bay heard cries for help in the middle of the night and was able to help a man in distress in the water.

Jasmine Bal said she and her boyfriend Jesse Peters were still up at 2 a.m. Friday watching TV.

“We heard a scream, but it’s usually quite loud down that street at night, so the first couple times we didn’t really pay attention,” she said.

But once they realized they were hearing calls for help, they crossed Departure Bay Road and found that a man appeared to be “struggling” in the water in Departure Bay.

Bal said Peters works for B.C. Ferries and is trained in water rescue, so he waded out.

“He’s 7-foot-2, so he was just able to walk straight out there and help the guy out,” she said. “He went out there, talked to him … asked him if he was OK, kind of calmed him down as much as he possibly could, but the guy was quite frantic.”

Peters helped the man to shore and Bal said “he was OK, I think, at the end of it all.”

Nanaimo RCMP confirmed they were called to the scene and that an officer also went into the water. Police said the man who had been in the water was transported to hospital for care.

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