TPS Marine Rescue Woman in Crisis, 141st rescue of 2020

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:13 p.m. August 24, 2020
Updated: 3:13 p.m. August 24, 2020

Members of the Toronto Police Marine Unit acted fast to rescue a woman in crisis, who had either jumped or fallen in to Lake Ontario. This was the 141st rescue by the Marine Unit in 2020.

A group of people in TPS uniform on a lakefront boardwalk
Marine Unit members (from L to R) Sgt. Jeffrey Correira, Constables Ellie Edwards, Kevin Lee, Geoffrey Henderson and Thomas Sommer helped rescue a woman from drowning

As he was reporting for his shift in the TPS Boat House at 7 a.m. on August 22,  Sgt. Jeffrey Correia heard a female screaming.  

“The screaming was coming from near the basin and the harbour wall,” he said. “When I looked over, I couldn’t see anybody.  But it was obvious that someone was in the lake as I could hear the screams.” 

Correia ran to the front desk and alerted the station duty operator who sounded the general alarm.

Constables Ellie Edwards, Geoffrey Henderson, Thomas Sommer and Kevin Lee immediately acted and joined Correia in the search.

“We ran out around the basin to the harbor wall where we saw a female in the water screaming and suffering obvious signs of crisis,” said Correia, who has been with the Service for 15 years. “We yelled to her and threw her a ring buoy to keep her afloat.”

Constable Ellie Edwards, who transferred from 33 Division to the Marine Unit last March, jumped into the water.

“Constable Edwards was worried the female would slip through the ring buoy and  resist police assistance because she was screaming, ‘Let me drown, let me drown’,” Correia noted. “Constable. Edwards talked to the woman while treading water and calmed the woman down and helped to de-escalate the situation.”

Edwards pulled  the woman in the ring buoy to the basin where a boat was docked on the wall.

“We dropped the swim ladder down and helped pull the woman up,” said Correia. “That was a lot easier than pulling her up a six-foot wall.”

He said it took only about five minutes to get the woman out of the water from the time he heard the screams.  

“It was quick, but we worked as a team to do what we had to do to get this woman out of the water,” said Correia, who also recently joined the Marine Unit five months ago. “Everyone came down and we had officers ready if the situation changed.”

“Many of our rescues involve people in crisis,” said S/Sgt. Sam Cosentino of the Specialized Emergency Response Marine Unit. 

“Our members are highly trained professionals who are capable of dealing with any water-related emergency. They love what they do and come to work every day ready to face any challenge that Lake Ontario throws our way. I am very proud of all the members at the Marine Unit and the work they do.”

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