Maxim B. Sylliboy died helping to save Dexter C. M. Johnson and John D. Doucette, Jr., from drowning, Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, July 15, 1999. Dexter, 11, and John, 7, were swimming in East Bay of Bras d’Or Lake when they were caught by a strong current, which took them farther into the lake. Struggling against the current, they shouted for help. Nearby on the beach, Sylliboy, 53, carpenter and bricklayer, and his adult daughter saw the situation. Fully clothed but for his shoes, Sylliboy entered the lake and swam to the boys, then grasped them and attempted to keep them at the surface of the water. A woman who had been on the beach nearby entered the lake and swam to Sylliboy and the boys, who had by then submerged. She dived and surfaced with Dexter, and Sylliboy retrieved John. As Sylliboy and the woman attempted to keep the boys at the surface of the water, all four were carried farther into the lake. Sylliboy’s daughter, who was pregnant, then entered the water with a child’s foam toy and swam out to the four. Having the boys secure a hold on the toy, Sylliboy’s daughter swam, with difficulty, to shore, towing them. They left the water safely, but by then, Sylliboy and the woman had submerged. Arriving emergency personnel located first the woman, then Sylliboy, and removed them from the lake. The woman was taken to the hospital, but she could not be revived. Sylliboy also had drowned.
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