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Pinoy drowns while trying to save 12-year-old kababayan in Ottawa

Friday, September 12, 2014 | 12:16am

A Filipino earned the collective admiration of Ottawa residents after he died trying to save a Filipino boy from drowning last month, a report on Ottawa Citizen said.

The report said 39-year-old Michael Lumahang was swept away by strong current while trying to save a neighbor's 12-year-old son in the Ottawa River.

“I owe him my son’s second life,” said Cynthia Peralta, mother of  Laurent Peralta, the boy Lumahang tried to save. “For me, he’s a hero.”

According to the report, the incident happened while Lumahang was having a picnic near the river with a group of neighbors, which included Laurent and his sister.

It said Lumahang took Laurent to the shore of the island to fish, but the boy went too far from the shore and got caught up in the current.

Lumahang and a bystander went to save the boy, but unfortunately Lumahang was swept away by the raging rapids.

Laurent, on the other hand, was rescued by the bystander and was treated for mild hypothermia by the paramedics who responded to the scene.

The Ottawa Citizen report said it took divers several hours to find Lumahang's body.

separate report on CTV Ottawa quoted Lumahang’s family as saying he had swimming lessons as a child in the Philippines.

“He was always helpful," said Michael Tremblay, Lumahang's stepfather. "He was always there to help everyone all the time.”

Lumahang, married, emigrated from the Philippines to Canada more than 20 years ago with his family, according to the Ottawa Citizen report. He worked as a cleaner in Ottawa and had a half-sister in the Philippines. — GMA News


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