Kevin Levert is a hero, according to the Montreal police department and Sun Youth, but he says his gesture last November was nothing extraordinary.
"I did what any other human being would have done after seeing someone in distress," Levert said moments after he was honoured on with two plaques for being a Good Samaritan.
Levert was recognized on Thursday by Sun Youth as part of the non-profit organizations Good Samaritan program.
"He rescued a suicidal man who had thrown himself in the waters of the St. Lawrence River, thus saving the man's life," a statement from Sun Youth said.
Levert was on a rowboat, fishing, when he heard a strange sound.
"I heard someone screaming as though there someone in the river," he recalled.
Levert saw a man in the river, drifting in the current. Officers on the scene couldn't save him, because he was too far away from the shore.
So Levert stepped in, driving his boat towards the man.
"I pulled him up just before he went under," Levert told CBC News. "That's what happened on my fishing day."
According to Sun Youth, the man Levert rescued was suicidal.
He "threw himself into the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River at the height of the Clock Tower dock in Old Montreal," the organization said in a statement.
Sun Youth presented Levert with a commemorative plaque and a gift certificate to a store of his choice.