// Rescued man clings to life
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« on: Aug 06, 2009 11:05 PM »

Rescued man clings to life

Last Updated: 6th August 2009, 2:26pm

BARRIE - The family of a Mississauga man who is on life support after a tragic bid to pluck his niece from cottage country waters is hoping for the best.

Ghulam Badar, 53, and his brother-in-law, Nadim Shah, 44, were pulled from the basin of Bala Falls after jumping in to grab Shah's nine-year-old daughter, Rabia, as she drifted away in a life jacket yesterday afternoon, a friend of Badar said this morning.

Badar is still on life support in Barrie.

Shah, who was visiting with his wife and daughter from Illinois, died, while Badar, a real estate agent and well-known member of Mississauga's Pakistani community, was taken to Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital, where he remains on life support.

"His wife is in so much shock right now," a man who identified himself as Badar's brother said in the hallway of the critical care unit today. "Now is just not a good time to talk."

Shah's wife returned to Mississauga last night with Rabia, who is in good health, the family friend said.

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 06, 2009 11:08 PM »

Man drowns trying to save daughter


OPP officers and members of the public work to pull a man from just below the Bala Falls. One man is dead and another is in hospital. (Aug. 5, 2009) Nine-year-old survives ordeal that also leaves her uncle clinging to life in hospital

August 06, 2009
Betsy Powell
in Bala
Jesse McLean
in Toronto

BALA, Ont.–Sixteen-year-old Alex Atkin was on a lunch break from his summer job at Purk's Place, selling bait and renting boats, when he saw a man rip off his shirt and shoes and run into the water.

Moments later, Atkin saw him "struggling. It looked like he was being pulled in by the undercurrent," the teenager said last night standing by the water's edge.

The man had leapt in after a 9-year-old girl was seen drifting in her life jacket away from shore. The girl managed to survive but later rescuers pulled two men from the choppy basin of Bala Falls, one dead and one barely alive.

Atkin later could see a woman sitting on the rocks weeping. Last night he pointed to that spot where a white cross with a life buoy attached sat jammed into the rocks.

Real estate agent Ghulam Badar, 53, of Mississauga, remains on life support today in Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. His brother, Nadim Shah, who was visiting from Hanover, Ill., died. Shah, 44, and Badar had gone into the water to rescue Shah's daughter.

Atkin has been swimming near the falls since he was 5 but "wouldn't dream of it this summer."

"The current is never like this. It's highly unusual." The teen said there should be signs warning people of the dangers.

Bill Purkis owns Purk's store and was inside when firefighters came running over and asked to borrow a couple of his 14-foot aluminium boats as well as oars and life jackets.

Purkis has been in the area for 60 years and recalls only one other drowning about 15 years ago. "People by the thousands swim there."

He blamed the eddy from the dam, "which is usually a trickle." The Ministry of Natural Resources has opened the dam because of high water levels, he said, and "that's caused a huge torrent of rushing water.

"The same water that caused this death here caused those three deaths down the river ," he said, referring to Moon River Falls, where seven friends jumped into fast-moving water on Sunday and three drowned.

Badar and Shah dove into the water around 2 p.m. yesterday when the girl, who was wearing a life jacket, started drifting away from shore, Ontario Provincial Police said.

The victims got caught in a strong whirlpool and disappeared in the water, Muskoka Lakes Fire Chief Jim Sawkins said.

When emergency crews arrived, the girl was already safely ashore.

"It's my understanding she was rescued, but I don't yet know how," said OPP Const. Peter Leon.

At the scene, a group of firefighters and two OPP officers commandeered two boats and rushed into the water.

They found Badar after about 10 minutes.

He was airlifted to Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie "and is in critical condition in intensive care," hospital spokesperson Suzanne Legue said last night.

Family members are keeping a vigil at the hospital, where a hospital spokeswoman said this afternoon that they are too distraught to talk.

"He's a very sweet man," said Anissa Ho, a manager at Right At Home Realty, where Badar worked.

Shah was submerged for about 30 minutes, Sawkins said, describing the officers' work as "nothing short of heroic.

"They got to those men as quickly as possible."

Paramedics performed CPR on the shore.

The men had no vital signs and were pronounced dead, but Badar was revived at hospital.

"This has been a tragic week in Ontario's cottage country," said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.

With files from Danielle Wong and Gail Swainson


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« Reply #2 on: Aug 08, 2009 04:57 AM »

Second man dies after Bala drowning mishap

Ghulam Badar is seen in this family handout photo. Badar died two days after he and his brother in law Nadeem Shah were swept underwater at Bala Falls on Aug. 5. 

Man drowns trying to save daughter 3 drown at Moon River Falls Aug 07, 2009 09:29 AM
Danielle Wong
Staff Reporter

A Mississauga man who was pulled unconscious from a Muskoka river after trying to rescue his 9-year-old niece has died in hospital.

Ghulam Badar had been on life support at a Barrie hospital since Wednesday, when he and Nadeem Shah were swept underwater at the Bala Falls.

Shah, whose daughter Rabiah had fallen into the water, died at the scene.

Ontario Provincial Police Const. Peter Leon said this morning that Badar died overnight.

Badar, a 53-year-old real estate agent from Mississauga, and Shah, 44, from Illinois, had brought their families on a day trip to Bala.

Shah and his wife, Aliyah – Badar's sister – had arrived here with their family from Hanover, Ill., less than a week earlier.

"They were on holiday," family friend Akbar Warris said yesterday. "It was just a picnic. They were going to leave (the falls) after."

Family fun quickly turned to fear when Rabiah slipped and fell into the water, said Badar's friend, Raj Gadi.

When Rabiah called for help, Shah and Badar dived in after her, family members told Gadi yesterday at Badar's west-end home.

Police said the men entered the water about 2 p.m. and disappeared when they got caught in a strong whirlpool.

When the OPP found Badar, he had been underwater for 10 minutes.

Shah's body was found after he'd been under the water for about 30 minutes.

Both were pronounced dead, but Badar was revived at the hospital.

OPP said Rabiah was safely on shore when emergency crews got there. Warris said he believes Badar's middle son, 16-year-old Anas, somehow caught hold of the girl.

Rabiah was wearing a life jacket - a precaution that probably saved her life, said Barb Byers of the Lifesaving Society.

But diving in after a drowning person can be a bad idea, she added.

"The last thing I want to do is judge them for their courageous actions," Byers said. "But the last resort is to go running into the water without a buoyant aid."

Shah died just kilometres away from Moon River Falls, where three young men drowned just days earlier - two of them trying to save a struggling friend when all three were pulled under by swirling water.

Badar's wife, Durre Samin, and 21-year-old son, Moiz, had been by his side at Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital since Wednesday

Badar had established himself as a community leader here after immigrating from Pakistan 12 years ago, Warris said.

He "goes out of his way to help everybody. That's the God-honest truth," Warris said. "He's a very well-respected figure in the community."

In 2004, Warris and Badar co-founded a non-profit organization called India Pakistan Dosti, which aims to foster friendship between people from India and Pakistan through networking events in the GTA.

Just two days before the trip to Bala Falls, Badar and Shah had participated in a music showcase hosted by the organization.

Shah, a surgeon's assistant in the U.S., displayed his singing abilities that night, Warris said.

With files from Precious Yutangco, Jesse McLean and Betsy Powell

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« Reply #3 on: Aug 08, 2009 09:07 AM »

very sad.... innalillah
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