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Shark Tank 's Robert Herjavec Rescues Ex Pro Hockey Star's Family on Lake: 'Sharks Can Be Nice Too'

·3-min read

Robert Herjavec to the rescue!

The Shark Tank star, 58, lent a helping hand to a family stranded on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on Tuesday. The group in question? Former pro hockey player Tom Lawson and his three children with wife Breann: daughters Ava, 15, and Faith, 14, and son Luke, 11.

"I was out jet skiing and I saw a boat drifting with a dad and his three kids, waving their arms frantically," Herjavec, who shared a video of the rescue effort on Instagram, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "My first thought was they must love Shark Tank, but then I realized they were out of gas and stranded."

There was "a sense of urgency" to get them to safety since the sun was setting, Herjavec explains.

"They were in an unlit aluminum boat not meant to be out at night," the Herjavec Group founder says. "We found a rope, tied it to the jet ski and I towed them back to their lake house."

Robert Herjavec and Tom Lawson
Robert Herjavec and Tom Lawson

Breann Lawson

"Did my good deed for the day!" he adds. "It's funny, the dad is a fireman and said to me he normally rescues people — so now I get to say I rescued a fireman. They were super nice, appreciative and big Shark Tank fans. See, sharks can be nice too!"

Robert Herjavec and Tom Lawson
Robert Herjavec and Tom Lawson

Breann Lawson

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Lawson tells PEOPLE the incident occurred on Tuesday at around 8 p.m, after he and his kids went for a ride on a fishing boat.

"On the way back, approximately 1 km away from our cottage for the week, we had some boat trouble," the Hockey Club owner says. "We didn't have much luck waving down the first few boats that went past. We saw a Sea-Doo and we were lucky enough to catch the driver's attention. As the fella on the Sea-Doo got closer, we recognized that it was Robert Herjavec! The experience became even more humbling."

Lawson says Herjavec "did not hesitate" to help tow them back to their dock.

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"He looked excited as he said with a huge smile to his wife [Kym Johnson], who was also on her own Sea-Doo, 'I am rescuing people!'" Lawson says. "Robert was as nice in person as he appears on TV. Once we got back to the dock and exchanged handshakes and took photos, he drove off into the sunset like a true hero."

Lawson's mother-in-law, Yvonne Murphy, tweeted a photo from the rescue effort and thanked Herjavec "for rescuing my daughter's family," adding in a separate tweet that the family was "forever grateful."

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Speaking to PEOPLE, Murphy says Herjavec and Johnson, 45, "were very kind and gracious to my son-in-law and grandchildren."

Herjavec is best known for appearing as an investor on ABC's Shark Tank. He has been a part of the reality series since its debut in 2009.

The Canadian businessman previously appeared on the Canadian version of Shark Tank, titled Dragons' Den.

Herjavec has been married to Johnson since 2016. He shares 3-year-old twins, Haven Mae and Hudson Robert, with Johnson, as well as Caprice, Skye and Brendan with ex-wife Diane Plese.

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