A Campbell River teen will receive a medal of valour Friday for a brave rescue in the spring.
Riley Holling, 15, was camping with his family at Quinsam Campground on April 23. His friend’s family came to visit and the kids were hanging out on fallen trees near the river when his friend’s younger brother Jared Roemer, who is seven- or eight-years-old, fell in.
“We were all climbing on the logs, but then Jared slipped and fell into the river,” said Holling. “I was down on a branch that was farther downstream, (he was) coming towards me and as he passed me I tried to grab him, but I missed, so then I jumped in after him and pulled him out.”
Holling said he didn’t really think before he jumped in the frigid water and didn’t even feel cold until he was out.
“It wasn’t cold at the time cause of the adrenaline but I was pretty cold afterwards,” he explained, adding that the whole incident took about 15 seconds from start to finish.
Holling said that the water was up to his belly button, but up closer to Roemer’s head, and the current was strong.
The Roemer family called Holling their hero.
“Without the efforts of this courageous young boy this story may have had a completely different ending and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts,” the family said at the time.
The teen will receive his medal from Scouts Canada – Holling was a Scout at the time of the incident – at 1 p.m. Friday during a school assembly at Timberline high school.
Holling’s mother Danielle Holling said she is proud of her son’s actions on that day, but she is always proud of him.
“We’re proud of him but we’re proud of the things that he does everyday too,” explained Danielle. “He’s really a kind and thoughtful boy.”