Nelson's Woody Wudkevich saves boy in Cuba
The owner of Kootenay Glass and Mirror was in the right place at the right time to save a young boy during a recent Cuban vacation.
Unfortunately, he could not save the boy’s father, who drowned as a result of being swept out by a riptide.
The accident happened last week (March 19) at a resort Varadero, Cuba.
Robert “Woody” Wudkevich was vacationing at the resort and sleeping on the beach when a stranger woke him after noticing a family in trouble.
Yue Liu, 40, of Ottawa, was playing in shallow waters with his son Connor when an undertow swept them both into deeper water.
Lui’s wife said her husband tried his best to bring their son back to shore.
Without a flloation device, Wudkevich swam 200 meters out to sea to help.
“When I got there, I saw a young boy. A wave was coming over the top of him, so I grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him towards me and I said ‘Are you OK?’,” Wudkevich told CBC News.
“And all he said was ‘I wanna go in now.’ So I looked and his father was swept out further.”
Wudkevich, 52, was able to carry the boy to shore.
However, when he went back to the water, he saw that Liu had been carried further out into deeper water.
According to witnesses, Liu had been holding his son’s head above water before the boy was taken to safety.
“When I swam out as far as I could… I couldn’t even see him… he was way out,” said Wudkevich.
When lifeguards arrived on the scene, and eventually pulled Liu out of the water, efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
The family lives in the southwest Ottawa community of Barrhaven after moving from Halifax, where Fanyan Bu and her partner Yue Liu each earned degrees from Dalhousie.