Saskatoon man rescues girl who drifted out of parents' reach on Lake Diefenbaker

A Saskatoon man's quick thinking may have saved a young girl's life.

Ken Thiessen towed a young girl back to shore after her flotation device drifted

Ken Thiessen was visiting Lake Diefenbaker last Sunday when he had to tow a flotation device with a young girl on it back to shore. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)

A Saskatoon man's quick thinking may have saved a young girl's life.

Ken Thiessen said he and his family decided to stay closer to the shores of Lake Diefenbaker when they visited last Sunday.

Then he noticed a little girl on a flotation device had drifted out of her parents reach. 

"The mom noticed that [her daughter] was drifting out and [the girl] called for her mom to come out and bring her in, but at that point it was pretty deep," Thiessen said.

He said the girl's dad didn't appear to be a strong swimmer and by the time the mom made it about halfway to her daughter from the shore she was tired and had to change her swimming stroke.

Thiessen, a former lifeguard, entered the water, swam over to the girl's flotation device and pulled it back to shore.

"My legs were like rubber when I got back up on the shore there from the effort to swim out there and swim back," he said.

While Thiessen was the one to pull the device back to shore, he figured others on the lake at the time would have been willing to help if they were called on to do so. 

"Everything worked out well," he said. 

"At Diefenbaker though, I've got advice for anyone in that area. They've got life jackets right around the lifeguard area there that are hanging up for public use… at least have it in your hand if you're not wearing it, or have it on yourself."

With files from Chelsea Laskowski