Would-be rescuer 'died a hero'

Michael Lumahang drowned near Bate Island Saturday trying to save a 12-year-old boy. The boy was...

Michael Lumahang drowned near Bate Island Saturday trying to save a 12-year-old boy. The boy was rescued safely by another man. DANIELLE BELL/QMI AGENCY

Danielle Bell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

OTTAWA -- The 39-year-old man who drowned near Bate Island, Ont., trying to save a child died "a hero," his family said Sunday.

Michael Lumahang jumped into the Ottawa River on Saturday evening to try to help a friend's 12-year-old boy who was in trouble.

The boy was rescued by another man, but Lumahang never returned to shore.

"They managed to pull the little boy out. The boy said there was someone else in the water," stepdad Michael Tremblay said Sunday.

"He gave his life for another life. He's a hero."

The family, including Lumahang's mother, Aqulina Tremblay, went to the shores of Bate Island, off of the Champlain Bridge, on Sunday morning.

It was only hours after his body was discovered at about 6:30 a.m., about 300 feet from shore.

"He knows how to swim," Aqulina said. "The water is strong. He tried to save that little boy."

It was supposed to be a picnic with some friends.

 


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