SCUGOG: Caesarea resident Peter Parker shares some qualities with his Marvel comics namesake.
Like Spiderman, Mr. Parker has been in the right place to save people from the lake on more than one occasion, But, despite the fact that he also has a Spiderman tattoo on his one arm, he is not ready to call himself a hero.
“I don’t think I did anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done,” Mr. Parker said. “My wife says that ‘you’re always the first one to jump in,’ but you don’t think about these things, especially when a child is involved and it’s an accident and people are hurt.”
His most recent rescue came on Saturday, Aug. 22, when two boats collided on Lake Scugog. At the time, Mr. Parker and his wife Deb Holbik were on a spur of the moment boating trip to Starr Bay.
“We were cutting across Washburn Island, and I noticed a boat had crossed over my bow. It wasn’t slowing me down or impeding my travel. At the same time, to my right, I heard a boat speeding and I thought ‘man, this guy is really moving,’” he said. “Next thing, he T-boned it. When he T-boned it, he glanced off towards Starr Bay and the motor quit.”
Mr. Parker spotted a nine-year-old in a life jacket and pulled him onto his boat. Then he heard that a six month-old baby was still in the water and he leapt into action.
“My wife an I are looking in the water and we can’t see any baby. Next thing, (the mother) said it is under the boat,” Mr. Parker said. “I jumped in and swam under the boat, but you can’t see anything because it is all murky, so I came back up. By then, the father had gone under the boat and there was two other people at the back of the boat that I thought were the grandparents.”
Mr. Parker then had the grandparents put pressure on the back of the boat to prop it up. The father passed him the baby and the two were able to get everyone from the boat wreck to his boat. Mr. Parker then set a course for Williams Point where he thought emergency crews would be more readily available.
“I’m thinking that you have to come all the way from Port Perry or Lindsay to get to Washburn Island, so I said ‘no, we’re going to our side of the lake, where the fire department is only two miles away,” he said.
Mr. Parker added that everyone involved in the crash was lucky to make it out alive.
“You hit a pontoon boat, there is nothing to hide behind,” he said. “It is basically a tin can, and it’s only a foot and a half above the water.”
Mr. Parker has been recognized for rescues on the lake in the past. One was in 1994, when he saved a girl with CPR. The other time was in October of 2011, when he saved two men after they fell into the lake while fishing. He remembers the circumstances around the 2011 rescue vividly.
“You’ve got ten minutes in that water in October, and then you are going to start feeling hypothermia,” he said. “There were two chinese guys, one was about thirty, and he kept trying to right the boat. I’m thinking ‘you are not going to get that right way up in time.”
After last Saturday’s rescue, Mr. Parker’s mindset on boat safety precautions has changed.
“I’m now a firm believer in life jackets. I never wore one before, but I will be from now on, because you just get thrown into the water, and you are stunned. What chance do you have to swim?” he said.