Sailors’ training saves a life
By Peter Mallett,
The Lookout Staff
Four Royal Canadian Navy sailors put their life-saving skills to action on the evening of March 17 that resulted in saving the life of a civilian.
After a few leisurely frames of bowling at the Langford Bowling Lanes, OS Hubert Desbiens and LS Alexandre Bujold-Foisy left the building for the parking lot, followed a few minutes later by OS Christopher Hachez and OS Frederic Lapointe, who had stopped to pay for the games.
There the sailors encountered two men in a fight. According to Westshore RCMP, it was the result of an argument that turned violent, with one man allegedly stabbing the other.
The wounds were so severe a fan of blood sprayed across the tarmac. Realizing the victim was in desperate straits, OS Desbiens and OS Hachez rushed to the man and started first aid. Drawing from their training, one sailor took off his sweater and wrapped it around the victim’s arm as a tourniquet. Together they put the man into the recovery position to ensure he could breathe.
“The victim kind of passed out for like five seconds, and I thought: We need to do something more, there’s something else going on,’” said OS Desbiens.
The two sailors did a full review of the victim’s body looking for more wounds. They discovered another one in the man’s chest.
“Once we figured out he had more wounds than what we expected we started taking off our clothes and using them as bandages,” said OS Hachez. “We were always giving him some information to keep him awake, and kept pressure on his wounds.”
As the two sailors were doing first aid, LS Bujold-Foisy, ran back to Langford Lanes to get the cashier to call 911.
Amidst all the chaos, OS Lapointe stood by the victim as a measure of protection until the police and ambulance were on scene.
Constable Matt Baker of the Westshore RCMP said the sailors’ trust in each other, and their military and first aid training, helped the victim and the situation that night.
“There was a couple times it was touch and go; without their quick thinking, without their communication and their skill, there’s a very good chance that man could have died,” he said. “So we want to say thank you to them.”
Two days later, police arrested a 20-year-old male in connection with the stabbing. He is charged with aggravated assault. RCMP said the accused and victim were known to each other.
According to Westshore RCMP, the victim is in stable but serious condition.
LS Alexandre Bujold-Foisy and OS Christopher Hachez are currently sailing in HMCS Vancouver on Operation Projection, a three-month patrol in the Indo Asia- Pacific region. OS Frederic Lapointe serves in HMCS Regina. OS Hubert Desbiens is on a dive course at CFB Esquimalt.