11-year-old drowns in creek near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

·2 min read
Cambridge Bay, pop. 1,800, lies on the western edge of the Northwest Passage. (CBC - image credit)
Cambridge Bay, pop. 1,800, lies on the western edge of the Northwest Passage. (CBC - image credit)

An 11-year-old is dead after drowning at the creek outside Cambridge Bay on Monday, according to RCMP.

Family members were the first on scene, followed by the fire department, the local fire rescue service, and then the RCMP, said Sgt. Dmitri Malakhov, the community's detachment commander.

CPR was performed and the child was taken to the health centre where further resuscitation attempts were made, but those were unsuccessful.

Foul play is not suspected, said Malakhov.

He said the RCMP's understanding of the incident is that the child along with two relatives of the same age were playing by the water, then decide to go in for a dip. The kids were carried away from shore by the water's current. Two of them were able to get out of the water. They tried to rescue the third, but were unable to pull the child out of the water.

Temperatures reached 22 C in Cambridge Bay Monday. Previous years have seen highs of 12 C on the same day.

Malakhov said there were no adults in the area at the time.

"This is a very tragic incident for the community. And there's going to be a lot of people in a lot of shock and grief going forward," he said.

"And, of course, it's a sad reminder, to practice water safety around the waterways, especially for kids."

He also added that kid should always be supervised near any body of water, even if it seems shallow.

"School was out and the kids [were] out and playing and it's understandable that they wanted to have some fun," Malakhov said.

The community has expressed concerns about the dangers of the area, especially for children, over social media, with one person posting on Monday that they think the hamlet should put in safety measures like hiring lifeguards, or making rope or life jackets and life preservers readily accessible.

In another post about one year ago, one person says they saved a child from drowning at the creek.

CBC News has reached out to the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay for comment.

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