Local Mountie recognized for act of valour

Const. Kyle Ushok isn’t upset that his head is being shaved at the Campbell River stop on the 2014 Tour de Rock

Once a year, the province of B.C. heralds and thanks the police officers whose work enhance the safety of our communities at their annual Police Honours Night.

This year’s event was the 35th such celebration, at which Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton presented 66 awards to officers from all over the province, one of which was Campbell River’s own, Const. Kyle Ushok.

Ushok received an Award of Meritorious Service for “placing himself at personal risk to rescue a distressed kayaker who had capsized in Discovery Passage.”

Ushok, who was also Campbell River’s rider in the 2014 Tour de Rock, leapt into the water and swam out into the passage on the night of July 17 after a distress call was received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.

He then assisted a witness who had seen what was happening and quickly gone home to retrieve an inflatable boat to row out and help the 40-year-old Campbell River man.

The man was treated in hospital for hypothermia, and police say he had been drinking alcohol before he’d flipped his vessel.

He had spent approximately 45 minutes in the water before being rescued.

Subsequent investigation revealed the male was alone on the water in an open style hard plastic recreational kayak that was unsuitable for ocean use.

“We just don’t hear enough about the wonderful things (police officers) do,” Lieutenant Governor Guichon said at the event. “Unfortunately, we hear about any mistakes, but every day, they are doing a wonderful job out there keeping civil society safe.”