Family and friends said goodbye Wednesday to a 45-year-old Whitehorse man who drowned in the Yukon River earlier this month after rescuing his young son.

About 200 mourners packed the Riverdale Baptist Church for a memorial service for Benji Correos, who was last seen Aug. 16 jumping into the river to save his seven-year-old son Myles from drowning in the fast-moving current.

Police found his body near the city's Chilkoot Centre a week later, on Aug. 23.

"Pops was a gift to our family. I am very thankful for the short amount of time that God sent him to us," said Bonna Glass,a daughter from a previous marriageon the mother's side.

"I never really grew up with a father," she added. "When Pops came into my life … he showed me what I was missing out on."

On Aug. 16, while on an outing along a riverfront walking trail, Myles Correos was playing waist-high in the river when the undercurrents pulled the boy in.

Benji Correos jumped in and managed to hold the boy up until bystanders pulled him ashore. But Correos disappeared, having been pulled under by the river's strong current.

Father remembered as active outdoorsman

A pictorial tribute to Correos showed him as an active man who enjoyed hunting, fishing, art, carpentry, karaoke and community service. He was also an active member of Whitehorse's Filipino community.

Correos was remembered as a family man and a man of faith, with a passion for life. He alwayshad asmile on his face and never hesitated to lend a helping hand, friends said during the service.

Pastor Joel Nettleton said Correos's death demonstrated his courage and heroism when he risked his life for the one he loved.