Nova Scotia

Michelle Curtis hailed a hero after dying during Broad Cove Beach rescue

Michelle Curtis, the 45-year-old woman who died trying to save several children from a riptide at Broad Cove Beach in Cape Breton on Monday, is being remembered for her heroic effort.

Woman collapsed onto beach after rescue but could not be resuscitated

Funeral services for Michelle Curtis are scheduled for Saturday in New Waterford. (Submitted by Kendra Baldwin)

The devastated sister of a 45-year-old woman, who died trying to save several children from a riptide at Broad Cove Beach in Cape Breton on Monday, is remembering her as a hero.

On Monday, Michelle Curtis was at the beach with her sister, Kendra Baldwin, and their children. At the first sign of trouble, Baldwin said her sister was one of the first to try to help.

"Her son was out there, and a few of the kids that were with us and our son and her daughter was out there as well," said Baldwin.

Michelle Curtis's heroic efforts are being remembered by her sister, who says she's 'devastated' by the death. (

"My sister and one other gentlemen were the first two in the water. The first two out to the kids."

Baldwin, Curtis and two other men managed to rescue the children from the rough water, but then Baldwin says she heard her sister cry for help.

"So I swam over to her and I swam with her," Baldwin said. "I told her to take deep breaths everything was going to be OK."

Baldwin and the two men helped Curtis to the beach, where she then collapsed. A friend performed CPR until emergency services arrived, but Curtis died at the scene.

"I took comfort in the fact the doctor that worked on her, knew her, he worked with her at the hospital. One of the nurses was a good friend," Baldwin said.

"The other nurse knew her as well. Worked with her for six years in palliative care. So I took comfort in that they did everything that they could." 

An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.

"I am devastated, she was my best friend," Baldwin said. "She absolutely is a hero. She saved … the kids."

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday in New Waterford.

Broad Cove beach in Cape Breton was the scene of an effort by Michelle Curtis, her sister and two men to save several children from a riptide. Michelle Curtis died in the effort. (CBC)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?