Agricultural and Resource Economics Professor Hayley Hesseln.

USask professor honoured for river rescue

An associate professor in the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Agriculture and Bioresources is being honoured in Ottawa for pulling a woman out of the South Saskatchewan River.

On Feb. 4, 2018, Hayley Hesseln helped to save a woman who had fallen into the icy waters of the South Saskatchewan River.

Her efforts were recognized on Tuesday, March 26 as Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette acknowledged the country’s bravest citizens during a ceremony in Ottawa.

Hesseln was walking her dogs in Saskatoon’s Silverwood dog park when she heard yelling; the woman had fallen through the ice trying to retrieve her dogs who had chased after geese. Hesseln grabbed two five-foot-long fallen branches, laid flat on her stomach and used the branches to pull the woman out of the water.

Paramedics treated the woman for hypothermia. She and her dogs survived.

According to an article on CTV News, Hesseln said they have formed a bond – even spending Christmas together.

“It’s humbling, really,” she said in an interview.