On Wednesday morning, Lydia Aboulian was preparing for another day of campaigning with a volunteer in the Sainte-Dorothée district of Laval, but her efforts to win a seat in Parliament were interrupted by unexpected noise.
“We all heard a loud airplane sound,” said Abrian, who was collecting some supplies in the kitchen at the time.
“We were a little panicked. We looked out the window and we saw the seaplane dive into the nose first. We saw it flipped several times.”
Then it began to sink into Rivière des Prairies, a river that separates Montreal from Laval.
“It turned over,” she said, describing the plane’s pontoon pointing towards the sky as it descended under the strong water flow.
Watch | Screenshot of rescue video:
She said that no one got off the plane, and her volunteer asked her what to do.
Abrian asked her to call 911, and then she ran to the backyard, mooring her private boat-famous for brands such as motorboats and Sea-Doo.
She said that she jumped onto the boat and shot it at the plane.
“It all happened so fast, I think I was there in 30 seconds,” Abrian said.
“I didn’t see anyone coming out. So at this time I started to panic and thought,’I will have to go there-dive into this water and see if I can rescue anyone.’ I don’t know how many people are trapped in this plane. .”
“I don’t want to lose him”
Aboulian was moving around the plane, and she finally saw a person’s head popping out of the water.
She said that it was an older man, and she quickly asked him if he was okay and if there were anyone else on the plane.
When he said he was not injured and no one else, she instructed the man to swim towards her and board her boat.
“The current is really strong. I don’t want to lose him,” she said.
She said to take this person back to her residence, but he refused, saying that he would rather go home because he lives on the Montreal side, she said.
So she took him home, they exchanged names, and he thanked her before she returned through the waterway. She checked with the authorities who had just arrived at the scene and told them that there was no one else on the plane, and then they went to check the pilot.
Aboulian said that she and her volunteers were shocked by the incident, but “the story has a happy ending. So I’m really happy.”
The Montreal police confirmed that the plane landed on the Montreal side. The first 911 call came in at about 11:30 am. The police assisted the Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) at the scene. Federal agencies have since taken over the investigation of the crash.
TSB spokesperson Dean Campbell confirmed that the agency is investigating the incident, but did not provide other details.