Officers save men from drowning in hotel pool

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:16 a.m. July 23, 2019

Quick thinking police officers saved the lives of two men found floating face down in a Scarborough hotel swimming pool.

Two women and one men stand in-front of a sign that reads “Grand Motel”
Consts. Nathalie Urbas, Marleen Conley and Randall Arsenault

On Friday, July 19

“The information coming in was that two males were unresponsive in the pool and no one was helping them,” said Arsenault who estimates it took him and his partner about four minutes to get to the scene.

At its deepest end, the pool is nine feet.

Public Safety Response Team (PSRT) members Consts. Nathalie Urbas and Marc Joseph were patrolling the area when the call came in.

“We got there at about the same time with the 43 Division officers,” said Urbas who is in her 10th year with the Service. “As we walked into the pool area, we could see the males lying there. I didn’t get a chance to take off my vest, but I took off the gun belt and jumped right into the water without hesitation. Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do.”

With their vests and gun belts off, Arsenault and Conley also jumped into the pool.

“I decided to go after the man who was at the bottom,” said Arsenault. “I grabbed him by the arm, but he was a bit heavy and I couldn’t lift him out. So I pulled him to the side of the pool.”

In the meantime, Conley and Urbas were rescuing the other man who was closer to the top.

“It was very intense and we had to act quickly,” noted Conley who has been at 43 Division since joining the Service 15 years ago.Therewere a few people outside the pool not attempting to help, so we had to act right away. I have been swimming most of my life, so I had no problem going immediately into the water once I saw what was happening.”

Both men didn’t have a pulse when they were pulled from the water.

“We took turns doing CPR and chest compressions on the men who had quite a lot of water in them,” Arsenault recalled. “We got a pulse back on one of them while paramedics managed to get the other guy’s pulse before they took them away to hospital.”

Urbas said the rescue was very rewarding.

“These men were in the water for quite some time before we showed up and it’s quite amazing that they survived,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. Other PSRT officers showed up and the team work was very good.”

Joseph, who didn’t jump into the pool, pulled the men out of the water.

“I commenced CPR right away,” he said. “They were in bad shape and they are lucky to have a pulse. Paramedics were able to get some water out of their lungs before rushing them to hospital to get them back.”

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