As the couple snapped photos together in Victoria Park in Kitchener, Canada, on Sept. 22, the groom said he noticed two children looking over a ledge into the water nearby.
Clay Cook said he wandered over to the children, who were 40 to 50 yards away, while his wife was getting her solo bridal photos taken to “double check” that everything was okay. That’s when he saw the third child struggling in the water.
“He was panicked. You could see it on his face,” Clay Cook, 31, told ABC News. “I’m lucky I walked over when I did.”
“It all happened so fast. When I saw him in there and he was struggling, I knew I needed to react,” Clay Cook added. “He was in a bit of trouble and I needed to get him out of there.”
Without hesitation, the groom said he jumped in to grab the boy.
“There was a ledge I was able to jump over and hang on to the top. I almost couldn’t reach him to get him out,” Clay Cook said.
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Luckily, he said he was able to pull the boy out of the water by his wrist.
“He couldn’t swim,” said Clay Cook. “Honestly, he was three feet from the ledge and he couldn’t get himself back in.”
The couple’s wedding photographer, Darren Hatt, captured the rescue on camera.
“I spun around and saw Clayton had this little boy, bringing him back up to the ground,” Hatt told ABC News. “This was just a continuation of their story, albeit a little bit of a strange twist.”
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An older girl came over to get the little boy shortly after he was pulled from the water.
“He seemed like he was in shock. He didn’t say a word,” Brittany Clay, 31, said. She added that the girl appeared to be his big sister.
The newlyweds said they still don’t know who the little boy is, but they’re glad the situation ended safely.
“I was in the right place at the right time and did the right thing. It’s as simple as that,” said Clay Cook. “It feels good to make sure he was safe and it ended the way it did. We’re lucky.”