Clayton Cook wasn’t dressed to go swimming when he jumped into a park pond in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In fact, he was wearing his wedding clothes.
Cook and his new wife, Brittany, had just said their “I do’s” on Friday, and they were posing wedding photos, reported The Washington Post. During the photo shoot, three young children had been following them around, “giggling and cheering them on,” said the Cooks.
“I was sort of keeping a close eye on them, just because they were close to the water,” Clayton Cook told BBC World News’”Newsday.”
The photographer was taking photos of Brittany alone, and Cook was waiting for his solo photos. While waiting, he noticed that one of the three children was missing.
“I kind of just said to myself, well I’m pretty sure that just drops off, and I’m going to go check just to make sure the kids are okay,” said Cook. “When I got there, they were kind of looking down in the water and pointing.”
That’s when Cook saw the young boy in the water, struggling to keep his head above the water. The little boy was flailing his arms in his attempt to get air, but he wasn’t doing very well.
“That’s when I was able to kind of jump down the rock ledge,” described Cook.
He told the boy, “Grab my hand, grab my hand.” After he grabbed his wrist, he “kind of plucked him out and put him on top of the ledge there.”
Cook also told the BBC that the boy was ok, but “he was in a lot of shock, and he was probably pretty tired. I think he was fighting for longer than I even thought.”
The couple said that after being lifted to safety by Cook, the boy was taken away by an older sibling.
While this was happening, the Cook’s photographer caught the whole thing on camera. When Brittany Cook saw her husband in the water, she shouted: “What are you doing!”
Their photographer, Darren Hatt, promptly swung over and began snapping photos. He posted two photos of Clayton Cook in the water on Facebook the following day.
“A special shout out to last night’s groom Clayton!” Wrote Hatt. “While I was taking solo pictures of the bride this little guy was pushed into the river behind me by another child. By the time the bride noticed and shouted out, Clayton had already jumped down and brought him to safety. His quick action saved the little guy who was struggling to swim. Well done, sir!”
The pictures have since gone viral, which is crazy to Cook. But Brittany Cook agrees that her husband is a hero. She told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News that she has started calling him her “hero husband.”
“Clay’s so humble to begin with that he didn’t see it as a big deal,” she said. “Clay said he didn’t even think about it; he just jumped into action. The kid’s in the water — what are you going to do? You’re going to pull him out.”
Brittany Cook shared with The Telegraph that them being there felt providential.
“That's Clay, like that's Clay to me. It's something he would just instinctively do. It was like fate almost, we were meant to be there.”
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