Summers for NHL players typically involve attending weddings, playing casual hockey, or trying to improve at their craft. On Saturday, one added “helping save a pilot after a plane crash” to his list.
According to RDS, the 33-year-old was on a fishing trip on Lac des Sables in Notre-Dame-du-Laus – approximately a 90-minute drive north of Montreal – with his father-in-law, brother-in-law, and a close friend, when the plane came down.
Neal Leblond, Byron’s brother-in-law, took to Facebook just hours after it happened, saying the plane crashed into the water just a short distance away from the group.
According to reports, a man named Serge Labelle was the first to approach the downed seaplane while he was out on his jet ski. The whole group retrieved the pilot and brought him to shore while they waited for first responders to arrive.
The pilot, who was flying alone, suffered injuries but was conscious and breathing before he was transported to a local hospital. The incident is being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Byron tweeted out a message the following day, saying Labelle deserves full credit for the rescue, while the others assisted him.
“I want everyone to know it was Serge Labelle who rescued the pilot and should be recognized for his heroic actions,” Byron said. “My father-in-law, brother-in-law, friend and I assisted in the rescue. As well as many incredible others on the shore. Sergie is the hero! Thank you everyone for the kind messages. I want to wish the pilot all the best in his recovery!”
Byron has spent the past seven seasons of his 12-year NHL career in Montreal, scoring 160 points in 383 games.
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