Body of 14-year-old missing in Ottawa River recovered
OTTAWA -- Ottawa police say the body of a 14-year-old boy, who had been missing in the Ottawa River since Friday, has been recovered.
In a press release Tuesday, police said a body was recovered near Lemieux Island Monday afternoon.
The coroner’s office confirmed Tuesday it is the boy who drowned July 3.
Ottawa Police said Saturday the boy didn't resurface after jumping off the Prince of Wales Bridge into the Ottawa River around 9:20 p.m. Friday. On Saturday afternoon, police told CTV News Ottawa the operation had shifted from a rescue operation to a recovery operation, as investigators presumed the boy had drowned.
The Ottawa Police Marine, Dive and Trails Unit, as well as frontline officers and members of Ottawa Fire, Ottawa Paramedics, Gatineau Police and Gatineau Fire searched the area Friday night, and continued to search through the weekend. A drone was used to assist with the search for the boy.
The boy's family has been advised of the incident, police said, and counsellors have been made available to them and the boy's friends.
The boy has not been identified.
The incident on a warm summer's evening is prompting an important reminder from drowning prevention experts on how quickly things can change while swimming.
"Drowning can happen in an instant, in a few seconds, and even strong swimmers can drown," said Sean Duffy of the Life Saving Society.
"It’s very important to check the environment for hazards, to know your limits, to enter the water feet first and understand the depth before jumping from any particular height."
In September 2016, the City of Ottawa built fences along the Prince of Wales rail bridge to stop trespassers from accessing the popular spot. Hours after the fence was installed to block off the entrance, the chain link fence was pushed off its hinges. Transport Canada had ordered the city to block off the bridge.
The Ottawa Police Central Criminal Investigations Unit is conducting an investigation into the drowning.
The boy's death was one of two drownings in the Ottawa River over the weekend.
A 20-year-old man drowned in the river after going swimming near Britannia Beach Saturday night. Police said his body was found Sunday morning.