Quebec drownings spiral upwards from last year
Five people were dead in the water over the long weekend in Quebec, spiking this year's totals to well above that of 2011.
Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012 7:55AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 3, 2012 10:02AM EDT
Authorities are troubled by a drowning epidemic, which has seen 39 people drown in the province since the beginning of the year, including five over the long Canada Day weekend.
Quebec's drowning rate is well ahead of last year’s pace, which saw 24 drowning deaths by this time in 2011.
The five weekend drownings include that of a young woman of 19 who lost her life in St. Jean-sur-Richlieu Sunday afternoon when she fell off a boat
The woman was on board a small watercraft when she apparently fainted and fell into the Richelieu River near the Military College at 5:20 p.m. Attempts to rescue her failed and police were unable to fish her body from the water Sunday.
Later Sunday in Becancourt, a 25-year-old man sank into the water near Sainte-Angele after trying to free a boat, which had six people aboard. The man disappeared into the waves and also could not be found.
On Friday in St. Donat, Quebec a father, aged 62, died trying to rescue his 15-year-old son, who was in distress in the water. His son managed to get to safety.
Similar high drowning rates have been seen in Ontario. The four weekend drowning incidents in that province include one in which a pair of men, aged 21 and 26, drowned in the Ottawa River. The two were swept downstream in fast-flowing water.
At least nine people in total drowned in Ontario and Quebec over the long weekend.