GoFundMe created for Filipino father who drowned rescuing autistic son in Canada lake

·2 min read

A Filipino father of four died while rescuing his autistic son from drowning in a lake in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.

Family tragedy: Arnulf Salazar, 53, drowned on July 17 after swimming after his non-verbal 10-year-old son Zac who drifted into deeper water at Chehalis Lake, reported CTV News.

  • Arnulf and his children were at the lake for a family picnic when the tragedy happened.

  • According to his 18-year-old daughter Zsalve, the lake had shallow waters, but they did not know it had an abrupt deep drop.

  • “It was just like a slip of the moment where Zac just started to drift apart from us,” she was quoted as saying.

  • Arnulf reportedly jumped into the water and managed to reach his son but struggled to get him to safety.

  • A good Samaritan named Nick McCleary saw the commotion and swam out to help but could only save the son.

  • "When I got to the man and boy, the man passed me the boy... I told him that I had him, I’ve got him," McCleary recalled, according to Burnaby Now.

  • “I was just so out of breath, I couldn't go back anymore,” he said. “I really wish I could have done more. He was a father of four. I’m a dad myself.”


A terrible loss: Arnulf was later brought to land by a diver who was at the scene, but he did not survive despite attempts by the family, and later the emergency responders, to revive him using CPR.

  • Arnulf, who worked as a glazier, is survived by his son Zac, Zac’s twin brother, who is also autistic, his daughter Zsalve, a 22-year-old son and his wife.

  • Zsalve described her dad as a “great father” that she “looked up to.”

  • A fundraising campaign, set up on GoFundMe to help the grieving family, has raised over 32,000 Canadian dollars (over $25,000) out of its CA$40,000 ($31,000) goal as of this writing.


Featured Image via GoFundMe

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