Ottawa police recovered the body of a man who went missing while swimming at Petrie Island yesterday.
The Ottawa police dive team recovered the body at the city beach at around 4:45 p.m. – more than four hours after four people saw the man dive underwater for the last time.
The 26-year-old man was swimming alone off the east side of the beach when “two adults and two children saw him dive under the water and disappear, with no signs of him coming up,” said Bruce Raymond, acting district chief with the Ottawa fire department.
“There was no sign of struggle. He simply disappeared into the water.”
The witnesses called the incident in at 12:06 p.m., said Raymond.
On the hot holiday yesterday, stunned onlookers watched as water rescue crews used boats and formed lines to conduct systematic searches in the water.
Orleans resident Martine Jolicoeur said she “saw a woman running across the beach, crying on her cellphone.”
“I was sitting here with my girlfriend and I heard sirens … and saw them all coming in,” said Cumberland resident Nick Charette.
Police later moved everyone off the east beach for the recovery.
Raymond said residents are warned to stay out of the water until lifeguards begin working next month.
“I think the key is that there’s no supervision,” said Raymond. “It’s a very dangerous section of the beach. It was a former quarry, so there’s a lot of very deep pockets. It was also used as a mooring for boats for many years so there could be obstacles such as anchors and ropes and chains, so it’s a very dangerous part of the beach to be entering.”
Police have not released the name of the victim, though they said he has family in the west end of Ottawa.