THUNDER BAY — A man was taken to Thunder Bay hospital Sunday after a frightening experience from which he says he was fortunate to escape with his life.
Twenty-one-year-old Dillyan Dubray went over Middle Falls on Sunday afternoon while rescuing a dog.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. in Pigeon River Provincial Park.
Dubray jumped into action when his girlfriend's family's dog entered the water and started struggling against the current.
He was able to push the 4-year-old giant Alaskan malamute toward shore but Dubray himself got carried away by the force of the current, and went over the waterfall.
"My intentions were to go grab him and push off. My push-off made him able to go to shore, and I took the ride down the rest of the waterfall. I'm lucky to be alive after probably one of the craziest things to happen in my life," he said in an interview Monday.
At one point, he said, his foot got caught between two rocks and he was submerged under the water.
On the way down the 20-foot waterfall, he chipped a bone in his foot, suffered a concussion and lost his shorts from the force of the current.
Dubray ultimately ended up on the American side of the border.
His friend Gavin Russell jumped into the water below the falls, and swam to the other side to help him.
"It definitely looked as if he had probably a bunch of pain going through him. That waterfall is a lot bigger in person than it looks like in any picture," he said.
Eventually, OPP, members of the Canada Border Services Agency, firefighters and EMS all responded to the emergency.
They worked with U.S. authorities to return Dubray to the Canadian side.
He was then airlifted to the city on an Ornge air ambulance helicopter for treatment in hospital, where he spent the night.
"I'm a little sore, but after the fact everybody's okay, everything is good. It definitely was a life lesson. You've definitely gotta be careful around waterfalls and the currents. They can take you and kill you in seconds," he said.
With files from TBT News