Two men who needed help up a steep rock in British Columbia were saved thanks to a group of Sikh men who unraveled and removed their turbans to create a makeshift rope. The steep rocks led to rough, raging waters near a waterfall.
The group of five was hiking toward the waterfall when they saw that the hikers stranded on a steep rock ledge. Kuljinder Kinda, one of the Sikh men who saved them, told NBC there was no cellphone service in the area to call emergency services.
After walking for 10 minutes trying to find help, the group thought of the idea to tie their jackets and turbans together. They created a makeshift rope about 33 feet long and pulled the men to safety. The action was caught on video and was widely shared on social media.
The hikers were in Golden Ears Provincial Park, one of the largest parks in British Columbia with extensive trails that lead to waterfalls, earlier this month. The two men who were saved have not been identified.
This isn’t the first time Sikh men have used their turbans to save lives, though the headwear is generally only removed in private, away from the public.
In 2020, a community of elderly Sikh men were on their daily walk when they heard the screams of two girls who fell into a frozen pond in northeast Calgary. They quickly jumped to action by removing their turbans and creating a makeshift rope, similar to the Golden Ears Provincial Park situation.
In 2016, Sarwan Singh used his turban to pull a drowning dog from water.
“They thought I was disrespecting my faith,” Sarwan told Yahoo news. “But what was important at that point was to save the animal’s life.”
Tien Le is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.