RCMP Sgt. Major Robert Daly jumped into action to rescue a driver from a submerged vehicle in Vernon on Jan. 24, 2020. (Submitted photo)

‘Truly heroic’: Police officer pulls Okanagan man from car submerged in frigid waters

RCMP Staff Sgt. Major Robert Daly jumped into action Jan. 24 while off duty with his daughter

The RCMP are recognizing one of their own after an officer leaped into action to pull a man from a car submerged in a Vernon creek.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Major Robert Daly was off duty and driving through Vernon with his daughter on Jan. 24 when around 10:40 p.m., he witnessed a car drive off the highway and out of sight.

Daly immediately pulled over and went to the crash site by foot while his daughter called 911, the RCMP said in a press release.

The Southeast District officer discovered the vehicle overturned and mostly submerged in the creek that runs alongside Highway 97, north of 48th Avenue. Daly wasted no time jumping into the frigid waters to try and pull the trapped driver out.

After some effort to open the door against the creek’s current, Daly cut the driver’s seat belt with a pair of scissors and brought the man’s head above water.

Vernon firefighters helped Daly pull the unresponsive man from the water and began life-saving measures. The 37-year-old Vernon man was rushed to hospital in serious condition.

Daly was uninjured aside from having been exposed to cold water for a prolonged period of time. Despite Daly’s efforts, the driver did not survive his injuries.

“It was with profound sadness that the RCMP learned that the driver has since succumbed to his injuries in hospital,” RCMP Southeast District spokesman Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said. “We, the RCMP, wish to extend our deepest condolences to the man’s loved ones.”

“Staff Sgt. Major Daly is an invaluable member of the Southeast District senior executive team,” Chief superintendent Brad Haugli said.

“The emotional impacts from that day are still fresh for both Robb and his daughter who tried to save a life. We will continue to provide them ongoing support. Their combined efforts were truly heroic.”

READ MORE: Social media key in search for missing Vernon man

READ MORE: Two arrested north of Williams Lake after police warn residents to stay inside


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at [email protected]
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Vees recognized on and off ice success

The awards were given out following their Saturday night win.

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Penticton Vees comeback for overtime win to end regular season

The Vees were down 3-0 to start the third before putting together an epic comeback.

PHOTOS: Celebrating diversity in Penticton

Seventh annual OneWorld Festival celebrates the worlds of different cultures in the South Okanagan.

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read