Presumed drowning at covered bridge

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by admin on September 4, 2015

Search and rescue efforts have resumed on the Gatineau River. Ben Bulmer photo

Search and rescue efforts have resumed on the Gatineau River.
Ben Bulmer photo

By Ben Bulmer

A man is presumed dead after a tragic event at the Wakefield covered bridge.

According to MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais police spokesperson Martin Fournel police were alerted to the incident at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3.

The victim was in the water between the bridge and swimming rocks, which jutt out from the west side of the river bank.

“At one point he drifted away passed the rock and down the river,” Fournel said.

Some of his friends tried to rush to the rock to give him a hand said Fournel, but by that point he was already in distress and went under. He has not been seen since.

The victim is a 23-year-old student from Algonquin College and comes from Zimbabwe. Alcohol was involved but how much is not clear said Fournel. The victim was not a strong swimmer and had only previously swam in pools and was not used to swimming in the river.

A volunteer police diver travelled from Ottawa and police boats were in the water till around 10:30 p.m. searching for the victim. A volunteer search and rescue team searched the west bank of the river from the covered bridge to Farm Point till 5.30 a.m. the following morning. Sûreté du Quebec divers were called up and are set to arrive in Wakefield in the early afternoon Sept. 4.

The victims family, who live in South Africa, have been contacted and are now travelling to Canada.

Fournel said in his 19-years in Wakefield as a police officer he had never dealt with a drowning at the covered bridge before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get the word out -and your questions in

The Low Down is co-hosting an All Candidates Debate with the Wakefield La Pêche Community Centre Monday, Sept. 14.

First – mark your calendars for the most important event to the Pontiac riding for Election 2015

Second – send us your questions for the candidates

Email: nmantell@lowdownonline.com

or post on the Low Down Facebook page.

Sept. 14, 2015

All Candidates Debate – Pontiac Riding

7 to 9 pm

Wakefield Community Centre

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