They unraveled their turbans to create a makeshift rope for the hikers who were stranded on a ledge inches away from rough waters near a waterfall.
A group of hikers in British Columbia used their turbans to save two men from the waters above the Lower Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Canada, earlier this month. The Sikh men unraveled and removed their turbans to create a makeshift rope for the hikers who were stranded on a steep rock ledge inches away from rough, raging waters near a waterfall. According to NBC News, Kuljinder Kinda and four friends were hiking toward the waterfall on October 11 when another group told them about two men who had slipped on a slick rock and fallen into a pool just above the lower falls and were struggling to pull themselves back to safety.
5 #Sikh youth in viral video of the incident in which they tied their turbans together to pull out men who had slipped & fallen at the Lower Falls at Golden Ears Park in #Canada were honoured with Community Leaders Award @RidgeRCMP for their heroic actions. pic.twitter.com/zCBCgJmYsP— Dr.Satwant Singh Rissam, Ph.D (@satwantrissam) October 27, 2021
Kinda explained that although the people who had stopped to help the stranded hikers had asked them to call emergency services, they didn't have cellphone service in the area. This was when the group came up with the idea to create a rope out of their turbans — a Sikh religious headdress usually made of cotton. "We were trying to think how we could get them out, but we didn't know how to," said Kinda, an electrician originally from Punjab, India, who is Sikh. "So we walked for about 10 minutes to find help and then came up with the idea to tie our turbans together."
5 amazing Sikh heroes tied their five turbans together to act as a rope to help save a hiker that was very close to getting swept away in the raging Lower Falls at Golden Ears Provincial Park. Just an amazing quick thinking act of heroism! Brought tears to my eyes! pic.twitter.com/QnJnyEsQVB— Original Canuckster (@shrkb800) October 16, 2021
The group of friends removed their turbans, jackets, and other articles of clothing and securely knotted the fabric together to create a makeshift rope about 33 feet long to safely pull the two men back onto the trail. They threw the rope down to the hikers and instructed them to tighten it before pulling themselves up. "In Sikhi, we are taught to help someone in any way we can with anything we have, even our turban," Kinda said, adding that he and his friends weren't scared for their safety at that moment.
“We can tie it again as many times as we want but that life, we can’t bring it back.” Five young men were honoured by Ridge Meadows RCMP for saving two people from Lower Falls at Golden Ears Park by using their turbans. https://t.co/58FmC0PcnN pic.twitter.com/zYm4SzQCUO— Global BC (@GlobalBC) October 26, 2021
"We just really cared about the safety of the men," he said. Richard Laing, the search and rescue manager at Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue, was on duty at the time of the incident and was called to the scene. However, before the rescue team could get to the location, Kinda and his friends had rescued the stranded hikers. "Five young males hiking past rendered them aid by taking their turbans off, tying them together, and making one long rope," Laing told Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
"The rocks there are quite slick and it can be really difficult to get back out of it, especially if you are wet and cold. So, they were fortunate that these five young men happened by and were able to get him out and back up to the trail," he added. Laing said the two men — who appeared to be in their early to mid-20's — had told his team that they did not see the hazard signs along the trails. "We spoke briefly with them but only to make sure they were fine and did not require medical aid," he said. "They did say they did not see the warning signs regarding the hazards of approaching the falls."
HUMBLE HEROES: five young men were honoured by @RidgeRCMP today for saving two people from Lower Falls at Golden Ears. They said the act of removing their turbans to make a rope has religious significance but all that mattered to them was saving lives. @GlobalBC pic.twitter.com/w4Lalhppxe— John Hua 華仁安 (@JohnHua) October 26, 2021
It is unclear how the pair got to the pool as the waterfalls are behind a fenced area. "Several people are injured each year as a result of slips or falls," Laing said. "It seems about once every one to two years, someone will be swept over the falls and die as a result of their injuries." He added that the man was very lucky to have been rescued before it was too late. "Certainly if he had stayed in the pool any longer he could have succumbed to hypothermia. He could have been swept over the falls," he said. According to Global News, the five Sikh men were presented with Community Leader Awards in recognition of their bravery and heroic actions.