HNIC host helps save drowning man

Hockey Night in Canada Host Ron MacLean reacted quickly to help save a man drowning in the Delaware...

Hockey Night in Canada Host Ron MacLean reacted quickly to help save a man drowning in the Delaware River. (QMI AGENCY)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — - PHILADELPHIA — Hockey Night In Canada host Ron MacLean played the part of best supporting hero Thursday afternoon, helping a drowning man escape the Delaware River.

MacLean was having lunch with his pal, Don Cherry, when a woman raced into the hotel restaurant and shouted for help. “She was pretty panicked,” MacLean, 50, said. “She said there was a person in the water and she said ‘Somebody please help.’

“So I jumped up, grabbed that velvet rope, like they have in movie theatres, jumped a railing and got down to the water. By this time, some guy had already stripped down to his underwear and jumped into the water to grab him and secure him to a raft.

“I’m not the guy who saved anybody. I wasn’t the hero. The guy who jumped into the water saved the guy. I just leaned over the rope and pulled them to safety.”

MacLean didn’t get the name of the drowning man, whom he suspected was trying to commit suicide, or of the man who jumped in to help.

He said he has never had an experience quite like this.

MacLean said the drowning man had his throat wrapped in tape, and people from around the Penn’s Landing area weren’t certain if that meant he was trying to kill himself — or someone was trying to kill him.

“You should have seen him,” said Cherry, always proud of his Coach’s Corner host. “I’m sitting there telling a story about Dave Bolland (of the Chicago Blackhawks) and right in the middle of it he jumps up, grabs this rope, scales two walls, climbs down to the dock, wraps the rope around him and brings these people in. Kind of like Superman. It was really something to see.

As for why he didn’t jump up to help, Cherry said: “I hadn’t finished my beer or my story.”


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