'Devastating loss': Halifax firefighter drowned while saving son
Sam London, 38, was swimming with family at waterfall near Tatamagouche, N.S
The 38-year-old man who drowned earlier this week at a waterfall near Tatamagouche, N.S., was a Halifax-area firefighter who was saving his son when he died.
Sam London was swimming with his wife and three children Tuesday afternoon at Drysdale Falls when one of his sons became entrapped in the whirlpool, according to a GoFundMe page set up to support his family.
He was able to save his son, but couldn't pull himself out of the undercurrent.
In a tweet Thursday, Halifax Professional Firefighters Association, the union that represents firefighters in the municipality, identified London, who was from Three Fathom Harbour, N.S., as the victim of the drowning.
He worked out of Station 18 in Westphal. The municipality said all flags at fire stations have been lowered to half-mast.
Joe Triff, vice-president of the firefighters union, said London was a well-loved member of the team and will be missed tremendously.
"We're all devastated and shocked," he said. "Anytime we lose a member, it's painful. To lose someone that's so young, so devoted to his family, such an all around good guy…. Nobody had anything bad to say about Sam. He was a quiet, confident, competent, professional firefighter."
Triff said the union is working with London's family to support them.
"Sam was a father first and firefighter second. I just can't imagine the hurt right now."
The GoFundMe campaign has raised $28,000 so far.
"Everyone who knew Sam is in disbelief at this devastating loss," the page reads.
The 16-metre falls are popular but dangerous, and have been the scene of other deaths and serious injuries over the years.
As recently as 2017, a 17-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he jumped from the steep falls.