Chris O'Gorman is traveling to Vancouver next week to receive a lifesaving honour for his rescue of a distressed 85-year-old man last June.

Chris O'Gorman is traveling to Vancouver next week to receive a lifesaving honour for his rescue of a distressed 85-year-old man last June.

South Slocan hero honoured for ‘stroke of luck’

Chris O’Gorman will travel to Vancouver to receive lifesaving award.

When the Lifesaving Society first invited local hero Chris O’Gorman to Vancouver to be recognized for his daring Kootenay River rescue last June, he assumed that he would attend the swanky gala wearing the Davy Crockett-style buckskin shirt he was wearing that day.

“I thought I should wear my buckskin shirt because I think it’s really beautiful and it was part of the story. But they kind of impressed on me, repeatedly, how formal the event was going to be,” he said, noting that he might look out of place amidst the dignitaries and bagpipe-players.

The South Slocan man, who works as a cab driver locally, surveyed his friends of comparable size and build to see if he could rustle up something appropriate, but was unable to come up with anything. Undeterred, he drove into downtown Nelson and bought his first ever business suit from Baker Street Menswear.

“It feels pretty different, but I like it,” O’Gorman said. “I think I look pretty good.”

(The Star has requested photographic evidence of this makeover.)

Now, along with three friends, O’Gorman be looking dapper during the awards ceremony in Vancouver on March 28.

Hosted in the Hotel Vancouver, the ceremony will be held in the ball room and will feature an appearance from BC’s Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.

O’Gorman was featured on the front cover of the Star last summer after he interrupted a morning walk with his Russian mountain dog Boris to rescue an 84-year-old Glade resident from an overturned boat.

Using his own canoe, which had been stashed at the nearby trailhead, O’Gorman navigated using a makeshift paddle. He returned the man to safety before emergency personnel could even arrive on scene.

The award from the Lifesaving Society is meant to honour civilian rescuers. O’Gorman said it feels good to be recognized, though he continues to maintain the rescue was a “stroke of luck”.

“I feel good to have had the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time and to help someone. For sure I feel good about it, because I was helping a dude in serious trouble. Someone might pull me from that same river someday,” he said.

O’Gorman attended the 85th birthday of the man he rescued, and presented him with the paddle he used.

“He’s a pretty quiet, reserved, traditional Doukhobor guy. I haven’t bothered him too much since, but it was a real nice evening because I was introduced to his whole family from the Okanagan and the coast.”

When O’Gorman handed over his present, the man declared that he was going to mount it above his patio.

“I think that’s awesome,” said O’Gorman.

Just Posted

Kootenay forests are unusually dry for this time of year. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
On summer’s cusp, Kootenay forests are at record dry levels

Southeast Fire Centre says 4 months of unusually dry weather have had effect on the region’s forests

Fire at the former Alpine Disposal, and now GFL recycling facility, on Hwy 22 South of Trail. Photo taken just before 6 p.m. Monday June 21. Photo: John Piccolo
Update: Industrial fire rages outside Trail on Monday

Photos: The fire is reported to be at the GFL recycling facility

A disc golf basket in Art Gibbon Park. Photo: Tyler Harper
Nelson council OKs permanent disc golf course in Art Gibbon Park

The course started in the spring of 2020 as a pilot project

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Tyre Little waits his turn at an obstacle course during Rosemont Elementary’s bike rodeo on Friday. Photo: Tyler Harper
PHOTOS: Rosemont Elementary gets into gear with bike rodeo

The event featured student-made ramps by Grade 4-5 students

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read