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Fort Erie man saves boy and mother from Niagara River

"I was in the right place at the right time"
Posted at 6:10 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 18:10:59-04

FORT ERIE, ON (WKBW) — "I don't want to have to do this ever again", said Bob Steckley of Fort Erie. He risked his life over the weekend trying to save a boy and his mother in the Niagara river.

"I could see the little boy in the water and I could see something else in the water. [I] threw the life jacket on, dove in and swam to him as I got closer, I could see it was another person in the water," recalled Steckley.

The boy's name is Tatum and that other person was his mother, Amanda.

"I actually swam to shore pushing him in front of me while I pulled the mother to shore," said Steckley.

He was able to bring Amanda from the Niagara River over to the shore where he could lay her down and perform CPR. For this he's being called a hero, but he doesn't want the credit.

"I was in the right place at the right time and had the tools at hand to help out," said Steckley. "Amanda's a hero. She gave her life for her son and she needs to be remembered as such."

Amanda was not as lucky as her son. She was taken off life support on Saturday, according to Steckley who has been in contact with the family.

She leaves behind two children. Tatum, 5, and Brooklyn, 7. Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral expenses and support the children.

This isn't the first time Steckley had to jump into the river.

"[I] heard some screaming from across the street and saw a head bobbing in the water," recalled Steckley.

The man suffered a stroke and fell into the river. Bob helped to rescue him with life jackets he kept in his home.

"After that I said I'm gonna keep the life jackets in the front hall closet because living here it's probably gonna happen again," said Steckley.

He said this is what allowed him to save Tatum and Amanda.