Nelson’s Woody Wudkevich recognized for bravery by Ottawa Chinese Community
Nelson’s Robert “Woody” Wudkevich was recognized in Ottawa today for going above and beyond the call of duty during a family vacation getaway to Varedero, Cuba in March.
Wudkevich saved a young boy from drowning during family holiday.
NDP MP Alex Atamanenko accepted the plaque from NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) and members from the Chinese Community Association of Ottawa — president Shaoyong Liu and vice president Jinsheng Xue.
“I’m deeply honoured about getting the recognition and thinking of the family,” Wudkevich said Wednesday after hearing about the recognition.
While sleeping on the beach during the vacation, a stranger woke Wudkevich after noticing a family in trouble in the water.
Yue Liu, 40, of Ottawa, was playing in shallow waters with his son Connor when an undertow swept them both into deeper water.
Lui’s wife said her husband tried his best to bring their son back to shore.
Without a flotation device, Wudkevich swam 200 meters out to sea to help.
The owner/operator of Kootenay Glass in Nelson was able to bring Connor to shore, but when the 52-year-old went back into the water, he saw that Liu had been carried further out into deeper water.
According to witnesses, Liu had been holding his son’s head above water before the boy was taken to safety.
When lifeguards arrived on the scene, and eventually pulled Liu out of the water, efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
The plague was in recognition of Atamanenko’s constituent’s — Wudkevich — bravery in saving Ottawa’s Connor Lui from drowning in Cuba.
Wudkevich said he is staying in touch with the Liu family and plans to visit the family during a vacation to Ottawa next year.