B.C. Coroners Service is investigating after a 32-year-old woman drowned at Matheson Lake Tuesday evening. (Google Maps)

B.C. Coroners Service is investigating after a 32-year-old woman drowned at Matheson Lake Tuesday evening. (Google Maps)

‘Clearly not breathing’: Bystanders recount giving CPR to woman who drowned in Matheson Lake

Greater Victoria resident jumped into ‘superhero mode’ when she saw the scene

Two Greater Victoria residents were the first on scene to provide CPR to a 32-year-old woman who drowned in Matheson Lake in Metchosin on Tuesday.

As James Dorsey and his wife Marsha Cole arrived at the lake around 6:30 p.m., they heard a commotion but didn’t think much of it. As they continued on, they saw what the cause of the commotion was – a woman was being pulled from the water.

Cole, a veterinary technician, went into “superhero mode,” as Dorsey describes, and took charge of the situation.

“It was bad, she was clearly not breathing and from my vantage point, I was more focused on making sure my wife was okay because she needs to take care of herself in that situation too,” says Dorsey, adding that Cole had described feeling the water in the woman’s lungs as she pressed down.

RELATED: 32-year-old woman drowns at Matheson Lake in Metchosin

Another bystander, who told Cole her name was Sasha, offered to help with CPR and the pair took turns, with one administering breaths while the other did compressions for at least 20 minutes before emergency crews arrived.

Dorsey says the first officer arrived at the lake about 15 minutes after the woman was pulled from the water, but he had been running to the area and needed to catch his breath.

“I think he saw that they were doing what needed to be done and I think he needed to catch his breath a little bit as anybody would … [but] it was at least 20 minutes, maybe even a bit longer [before paramedics arrived],” says Dorsey.

When the paramedics arrived on scene, Dorsey and Cole were able to take a step back.

READ ALSO: Brave 7-year-old boy rescues older child from drowning in Shuswap Lake

“When it was over, my wife looked like she got back from a massacre or something like her face was just covered in blood and foam and whatever else,” says Dorsey, adding that Cole has made arrangements to get a COVID-19 test.

Dorsey says he was a bit hesitant to return to the lake the day after but went because of an ask from a family friend. For Cole, Dorsey says it will likely take a bit longer before she returns even though the lake is only a few minutes from their home and where they swim daily in the summer.

“I’ve known for quite a while that she’s a superstar, but to actually see her like she just – as soon as she saw it was happening, basically pushed everybody else aside and just took charge,” says Dorsey. “It was amazing.”

Metchosin Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance provided advanced life support and transported the woman to hospital in critical condition. B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the woman later died, adding that it was in the early stages of an investigation but would not comment further.

The woman’s name has not been publicly released at this time.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Westshore RCMP

Just Posted

Capitals’ Kahlil Fontana blueliner evades Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Ethan Hersant during second-period B.C. Hockey League Island Division action at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Susan Quinn/Black Press Media)
Cowichan Capitals go out with a bang

Caps finish BCHL season strong with 6-1 thumping of Clippers

The MS Society flag flies at Duncan city hall to mark MS Awareness Month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan and CVRD help mark MS Awareness Month

MS Walk scales back, but fundraisers are still vital for MS Society

“Keeping fit for Mother’s Day: Participants of Cowichan Lake Recreation’s Mother’s Day hiking event make their way down the Trans Canada Trail, Sunday, May 8. The morning event later wrapped up with snacks and prizes.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette May 11, 2011)
Flashback: Bears, elk, salmon, candidates, and lumber graders

This week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Sign up to fundraise to help those affected by dementia. (Submitted)
Not too late for Cowichan residents to join Alzheimer’s Walk

Set a walking or fitness goal for May and raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read