Tragedy struck a Canadian family on spring break in Cuba when 40-year-old Yue Liu died while saving his drowning 7-year-old son.
The Ottawa family of four was swimming at a Varadero resort on the last day of their vacation, March 19, when Liu and his son Connor were caught in an undertow.
They were swept into deeper water while his wife Fanyan Bu and their 9-year-old daughter stood helpless on the shore.
"(Connor) couldn't swim back so my husband pushed him to shore, tried to push him and the last thing my husband said to him (was) ‘I cannot save you anymore,’” Bu said on Monday.
Another Canadian on the beach managed to grab Connor from his father, but Liu never made it out of the water.
“I think another wave dragged him back to the ocean again,” his wife said. “I asked him to come back, I said ‘You have two kids, come home with me, please please please,’ then I passed out. People brought me back to the hotel.”
Transporting Liu's body back home and the funeral should cost an estimated $30,000. The family had no travel insurance.
The Chinese community in Ottawa has raised $20,000 for the family.
"If that were to happen to anyone you wouldn't want to be alone taking that burden,” said family friend Andy Wang. “You would want other people behind you, to be there for you.”