Vancouver running group rescues homeless man from drowning

A Vancouver-based running group helped a homeless man out from the water on a Thursday morning run after a storm surge and windstorm hit the city.

Runners save homeless man
Runners save homeless man
A view of Harbour Green Park, the approximate location of where the man was rescued. Photo: Screenshot of Google Maps.

A group of marathon runners out on a Thursday morning run helped rescue a homeless man who was trapped in the waters just off the Coal Harbour seawall in Vancouver after a storm surge and windstorm hit the city.

Members of the Downtown RunVan Club were out for a run around 6:45 a.m., according to Vancity Buzz, and noticed a man in the water near Harbour Green Park located in downtown Vancouver. The group of runners helped the man, who lives under the ledge of the seawall, out of from below and ensured he was safe though he was initially in shock because of the cold water temperature.

“The man was okay after he dried off and warmed up but it was definitely a traumatic experience for him,” Mike Hsiao, one of the group members, told Canadian Running on Friday. “By the looks of it [how he was doing] when he was pulled out, the man was seconds from drowning.”

Because of the storm surge, the tide quickly rose trapping the homeless man in the water until the runners spotted him shortly into their run.

Life or death literally flashed before me today… As my team and I was running around the seawall this morning, one of…

Posted by Mike Hsiao on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hsiao added that the man refused to be taken away in an ambulance so the group went to a nearby hotel to get a few towels and blankets to help dry him off and recover. The UBC student said that the man’s reluctance for an ambulance was perhaps related to possible hospital bills.

RELATED: Runners credited with saving residents from house fire.

When the group returned later in the afternoon, Hsiao said the man was in much better condition as he was given a warm set of clothes and warm food by the group of runners earlier in the day.

RELATED: Runners save drowning man in Chicago.

The annual West Van Run took place just before the storm surge hit Vancouver. Below is what a portion of the finishing stretch looked like later in the week: