Decorations for Bravery
Mr. Bruce Allan Gardiner, M.B.
Medal of Bravery
Date of Instrument: October 5, 1987
Bruce Allan Gardiner, M.B.
While fishing off a train bridge over the Mattagami River in Northern Ontario on May 4, 1986, four boys, Bruce Gardiner, Daniel SauvĂ© and two friends, heard cries for help and, looking down into the turbulent river, spotted two men and two children clinging to a capsized boat. The victims had been fishing when their lightweight craft had hit an obstacle and overturned. They were swept down-river clinging to the boat and were fatigued and numbed by the extremely cold water when they arrived at a log boom by the bridge. Their quick-thinking rescuers formulated a plan. One boy ran off to phone for help, while another remained on the bridge to shout encouragement. Meanwhile, Bruce and Daniel, both 14 years old, slid down a steel cable on the side of the bridge and crawled out onto the slippery log boom. Bruce fell into the water twice, but managed to regain his footing and carry on out to the edge where they each grabbed a child and used their own clothes to wrap up the frozen youngsters. Seated on the logs, they held the children in their laps and kept up conversation with all four victims to prevent them from losing consciousness. Some 45 minutes later, they were relieved by police rescuers.