Heroics shouldn’t go unnoticed

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So often, youth get a bad rep, ridiculed for something wrong they have done.


We, the public, often like to dwell on the negative and criticize those who break the rules, the law or who do something we don’t agree with.

But, last week, two young Prince County teens didn’t something unthinkable, the unimaginable, something selfless that saved the lives of two young children.

Kennedy Crossland and friend Shanglee Tran were sunbathing at a Darnley beach with their friends, dipping their toes in the water but, due to unsafe surf conditions, not risking to venture further out into the angry sea.

Crossland, a trained lifeguard who teaches swimming lessons at the Credit Union Place’s aquatics centre in Summerside, and Tran, a seasoned swimmer, knew just how dangerous the waters off the north shore could be, that the riptide and current could easily put them in danger or, worse, pull them under.

So, they listened to staff at Twin Shores campground and warnings from Parks Canada saying that conditions were not safe.

Unfortunately, others did not heed that warning.

Others were in the rough waters, many venturing out to the nearby sandbar. Then there were two small children, the first a young girl, no more than eight years of age, who was struggling and calling for help.

Crossland and Tran noticed the young girl and, putting their own lives at risk, dropped everything to venture into uncertain waters to save her.

When they reached the girl, they quickly noticed another child, a boy no more than 11, calling for helping, being pulled under by the riptide. Handing over the girl to Tran, who brought her safely to shore, Crossland quickly put into action years of water-safety training and saved the young boy from what could have been tragedy.

The teens weren’t looking for glory or accolades, just doing what they could to avert disaster. But the word quickly spread and their heroics became the fodder of headlines.

And, seeing an opportunity, Crossland and Tran used the platform to inform the public of the importance of heeding those warning regarding surf conditions and stressing just how vital knowing how to swim should be for all who venture into the waters off our fair isle.

If the two young women didn’t have the proper water-safety training, who knows what would have happened in the waters off of Darnley on Aug. 11. The headlines would have been of tragedy, a possible double fatality, instead of praising the heroics and selflessness of these young heroes.

It’s stories like that that of these young women we should remember when it comes to today’s youth. They are a great example for us all.


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