A 48-year-old man from Moncton in New Brunswick drowned in the Philippines while trying to save someone in distress.
Gerald Arthur died when he attempted to rescue a woman who was being swept away by high waves.
The woman, who also died, was swimming December 21 when big waves caused by bad weather hit her.
The incident happened in the town of Casiguran in Aurora province.
Arthur’s friend, Stephen Walton, said in a CBC report that Arthur was travelling with his girlfriend, who is from the Philippines.
The woman who drowned was also a Filipina, but not the Canadian’s girlfriend. The woman had become an American citizen. She was also a tourist in Aurora.
“It’s hard to grasp,” said Walton in the CBC report. “He was looking forward to that trip so much, and he and his new girlfriend Sally were having fun … and you couldn’t write a more tragic story in my mind.”
“Most of us know that one person that doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and doesn’t have an enemy in the world,” said Walton. “A pretty gentle soul — that was Gerald for sure.
“Gerald was pretty far from the athletic type and I’m pretty sure he was just at a modest skill of swimming and you know compared to someone … who would be an excellent swimmer, who may go in to save somebody,” said Walton in the CBC report. “Obviously that would be good of them, but not necessarily so brave — it might come pretty easy to them.”
“But Gerald, I’m sure that wasn’t the case. But he would have overcame … any fear he had of going in there just to try and save that person who he barely knew,” Walton said in the CBC report.
CBC also reported that a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Canadian officials are providing consular assistance to the family.