Police recover body of swimmer who went missing after jumping off Prince of Wales Bridge
OTTAWA -- Ottawa police say they have recovered the body of a 26-year-old man who went missing in the Ottawa River on Sunday after jumping off the Prince of Wales Bridge.
Emergency crews received a call just after 4 p.m. Sunday about a group of people jumping off the old train bridge. One of them failed to resurface after jumping in the river, police said.
Ottawa police and fire were seen searching the water just east of the Prince of Wales Bridge Sunday evening.
Monday morning, Ottawa police said divers recovered the man's body. He has been identified as the London, Ont. man that had been reported missing on Sunday. Police have not released his name.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man." police said in a news release.
The man is the second person in less than a year to die after jumping from the out-of-service former rail bridge.
Second death in less than a year
Last July 3, Vimy Grant, 14, died after jumping from the bridge into the river. Police found his body three days later and a coroner’s investigation concluded that he had drowned.
Grant's family plans to sue the city for negligence for not adequately blocking the Prince of Wales Bridge.
"How many young people have to die before the City of Ottawa acts?" Asked lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, who is representing the Grant family. "The failure is really knowing that the place is frequented by young people and is used as a place of adventure and jumping off the bridge."
Greenspon adds that the Grant family is in shock that another death has happened and that they are praying for the young man's family.
In September 2016, Ottawa built fences along the former railway crossing to stop trespassers from accessing the popular spot. Hours after the fence was installed at the four entry points of the two-span bridge, one of the chain link fences was pushed off its hinges. Transport Canada ordered the city to block off the bridge.
Troy Charter, the City of Ottawa's director of transit operations said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa that safety and security is their top priority.
"The City has taken numerous measures to prevent access to the inactive bridge. City staff patrol the bridge daily to ensure people are not accessing it. Staff conduct regular inspections and ensure any repairs that are required are completed promptly. To ensure and protect public safety, signage, chains and fencing have been put in place to prevent trespassing. Metal plates were also installed last year at the south entrance and along Lemieux Island."
An infrastructure announcement planned for Monday near the bridge was cancelled. The City did not say what the announcement was. Ottawa has looked at the possibility of converting the former railway crossing to a multi-use pathway.