08/31/2012 04:25 EDT | Updated 08/31/2012 08:00 EDT

Harrison Mohr: Sechelt RCMP Officer Saves Suicidal Woman In Open Water


A Sechelt, B.C. Mountie is being heralded for his efforts to save a woman who was found swimming in open water.

At about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, the RCMP were alerted to a woman who had tried to commit suicide by jumping into the ocean off of Sechelt's Wakefield Beach.

Const. Harrison Mohr, a Mountie for two years, arrived at the scene and found the woman's car just before noticing her swimming fully-clothed about 15 metres into the ocean.

Mohr didn't have much other choice. He gave his gun and duty belt to a fellow officer and swam out into the cold water to meet her. Two other officers took a boat into the water to help out, positioning it in a way that didn't allow the woman to swim further.

The woman ignored Mohr at first and began swimming further out when more officers arrived. Mohr caught up with her some way off shore.

"It was a ways, I was surprised she got so far out," he told The Huffington Post B.C.

Mohr began talking to the woman, telling her that she wasn't in trouble, that he was there to help. At that point she opened up to him, telling the officer about the events that led her to try and kill herself.

Mohr had recently gone through crisis intervention training that was mandated for RCMP officers after the Braidwood Inquiry that looked into the 2007 Taser incident at the Vancouver International Airport. That training included adjusting one's body language and tone of voice.

"When it came down to it, I was showing her that I was there to help, that I cared for her," he said. "I was basically trying to take myself outside of a uniform and show I was someone who was there to help."

After 10 minutes of treading water, Mohr told the woman that he was cold. The woman, who had been in the water for an hour, agreed to swim back with him to shore. She was unable to stand when she reached the beach.

The woman was sent to hospital and released a few days later. Mohr didn't have any information about how the woman is doing now but he was thankful he got her out of the water.

"When it comes down to it, I did what Canadians would expect any RCMP officer to do, and I'd trust any officer I work with to do the same," he said.

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