Emilyn Golden

A 15-year-old boy, who was autistic and nonverbal, drifted with the outgoing tide about 300 feet from a Burrard Inlet beach in West Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sept. 9. Emilyn Golden, a 34-year-old local artist, was at the beach when she learned of the boy’s struggle. Golden removed an outer layer of clothing and entered the dangerously cold water, swimming to the fully-clothed boy, who initially resisted her rescue efforts. Golden quickly formed a rapport with the boy and together they swam back toward shore, but the strong tide prevented them from making much progress. As the boy tired, Golden helped him remove some clothing and held to his shirt with one hand, keeping him above the surface of the water. A rescue boat responded and plucked the two from the waves, bringing them to safety at a nearby pier. The boy went to the hospital and was released later that day. Golden was treated at the scene for shock and hypothermia. She recovered without further medical treatment.