Alexi Moskovski of Pierrefonds had no idea that he had come to the notice of Canada’s Governor General’s office until the RCMP tracked him down last winter to ask him questions about something brave he had done the winter before while vacationing in Cuba.
Like other heroes, the 23-year-old hadn’t given much thought to the fact that he had helped save a drowning woman he didn’t know while he was vacationing with his parents and younger brother in Cayo Largo, Cuba, in February 2010.
At a ceremony on Monday night, however, Moskovski was honoured with the Governor General’s Certificate of Commendation, which recognizes selfless acts done in the assistance of others. Since its creation in 1993, more than 3,450 Canadians have been honoured.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Monique Worth presented the award on behalf of Governor General David Johnston to Moskovski.
“The whole thing was like instinct,” said Moskovski, who now studies logistics and transportation at LaSalle College downtown.
“I was playing volleyball with a bunch of guys and girls my age from Toronto that I had met at the resort,” he said. “I turned and saw somebody in the water. So did another guy. He rushed to the water. I just followed him.”
He said the other fellow, who was named Marick, reached the woman first. By then, he said, she was about 300 to 400 metres from shore, having trouble treading water and going under.
A few seconds later when he reached the woman, too, Moskovski said, together they managed to pull her to shore. “I couldn’t have done it by myself, that’s for sure.”
After the rescue, he said, he did see the woman and Marick at the resort. ”I think she was his aunt.” But once home, he said, “we lost all contact.” He only knows they live in Kingston, Ont.
The award is a reminder of the woman and that day. Ivive,