This Groom Spent His Wedding Day Rescuing A Young Boy From Drowning

"Almost as soon as I realized what was going on, he had already saved the day."

While most married couples remember the most important parts of their wedding day, for Clayton and Brittany Cook, a Canadian couple, their day was unforgettable for an unexpected reason.


On Friday, September 22, the newlyweds had just said "I do" and were in the middle of taking post-ceremony pictures with their photographer, Darren Hatt, at Victoria Park in Kitchener when a little boy fell into a nearby river. 

While Hatt and the bride were turned away, taking some solo shots, neither knew what had happened until they heard Clayton Cook jump into the river. He'd seen the boy struggling to swim and knew he didn't have a moment to waste. "His face was underwater and he was fighting, he was really fighting," Clayton Cook told CTV News. "Lucky he was only a little guy and I could just get him by the [wrist]…and I just sort of honestly helped him up." 

The young boy's face has been blurred to preserve his privacy, as per the request of photographer Darren Hatt.  Courtesy of Darren Hatt / Hatt Photography

"It was a commendable thing that he did, and he sprung into action incredibly quick," Hatt added. "Almost as soon as I realized what was going on, he had already saved the day."

After making sure the young boy was OK, the couple asked the other children there what had happened. They confessed to pushing him into the river, and though the young boy didn't say anything to the Cooks, they left him in the care of his older sister.

The day after the wedding, September 23, Hatt posted two pictures of the rescue to his company's Facebook page, where they have since gone viral. Many commenters have deemed Cook a "hero" for his "selfless" act. 

"I'm just happy the groom was there at the right time, and he's receiving the recognition he deserves," Hatt told A Plus via email. 

According to the London Free Press, Brittany Cook later responded to the positive comments in a social media post. "Thank you all for your kind words for my husband," she wrote. "We only hope this kid is OK and that this is a lesson to all about keeping your kids safe, especially around water." 

While everyone — both offline and on — was surprised by the events themselves, Brittany Cook wasn't shocked by her husband's actions. "It doesn't even surprise me that that [the rescue] happened," she explained to CTV News. "It's just something that he [Clayton] would instinctively do."

Courtesy of Darren Hatt / Hatt Photography
Courtesy of Darren Hatt / Hatt Photography

If nothing else, that moment will make sure the Cooks always remember their wedding day. But just in case the couple forgets what Clayton Cook looked like when he was dry, Hatt already snapped plenty of pictures. 

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