Lake Charles man saves another man from drowning, gets recogniti - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles man saves another man from drowning; gets recognition from police

Lake Charles man saves another man from drowning, gets recognition from police

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It’s a thought that doesn't happen often, but for 43-year-old Darin Belaire of Lake Charles, it was his first instinct.

“I was thinking, 'There is no way I can sit on the back of this boat and watch this man drown,'” said Belaire,a welder for Lake Area Equipment Maintenance.

Belaire says it was just another day on the job as he was doing some work at the Port of Lake Charles.

“Out of the very far corner of my eye, we had seen something fall off, and I didn’t know what it was,” he said. “I said, 'I think someone might have fallen off the boat.'”

Belaire says a man and a child were on a small boat near his work site when he says the man fell off and appeared to be in need of help.

“That’s when I started getting prepared to jump in, and it looked like the life jacket was maybe too big,” he said. “We couldn't really understand what he was saying really, and it looked like the life jacket was like maybe too big or not secured properly. He was just staying out there. He didn't panic. So, by that time, I stepped at the back of the tug boat and proceeded to swim.”

Coincidentally, the Lake Charles Police Department was in the same area testing its new boat and witnessed the entire incident.

In a picture given to 7News from LCPD, you can see the police towing the man and child to safety after Belaire swam nearly 100 yards to save the man from drowning, and this would be an incident the police would soon remember.

“They gave me a certificate and a little medal, and it wasn't until then they told me, “You know, what you did was heroic,'” said Belaire. “To me, it’s not about that. It’s just kind of helping a guy that needed some help. It was pretty good; it makes me feel good. Hopefully, a lot of people will learn from it.”

Police say the man and child who were on the boat were not seriously injured during the incident.

7News made several attempts to contact the man who was saved by Belaire but received no response.

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