4 drownings since Friday in Quebec

·2 min read
A lifeguard holds a swimming buoy in western Quebec's Gatineau Park in June. Since Friday, there have been four drownings across the province — including two instances where lifeguards responded. (Michel Aspirot/CBC - image credit)
A lifeguard holds a swimming buoy in western Quebec's Gatineau Park in June. Since Friday, there have been four drownings across the province — including two instances where lifeguards responded. (Michel Aspirot/CBC - image credit)

Four people have drowned so far this weekend in Quebec, with provincial police confirming two more deaths late Sunday afternoon.

The most recent two deaths include two men — one who was pulled from the water near a beach in the Montreal area late Saturday afternoon, and another who went missing while swimming across a river in the Maurice region later that evening.

The first man, 43, died in hospital after going under at the Sablon beach in Saint-Polycarpe, Que., in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region near the Ontario border.

The man had jumped from a platform to a suspended rope to swing into the water but never resurfaced, the Sûreté du Québec said.

Lifeguards found the man but weren't able to revive him. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and declared dead soon after.

The other, a 49-year-old man, had been trying to swim across the Batiscan River around 7 p.m. Saturday when he disappeared under the water.

His body was found at around 11 a.m. the next morning after an extensive search involving divers and a helicopter, authorities said. His death was confirmed in hospital soon after.

CBC News
CBC News

The two drownings occurred after two other people died in water activities in the Laurentians.

A 14-year-old girl died after being found unconscious late Friday afternoon at the base of a water slide at the Super Aqua Club in Pointe-Calumet, Que.

A 28-year-old man also died in hospital on Saturday after being rescued from a lake near the community of Sainte-Lucie, Que., around 10 p.m. the night before.

'Never be alone'

Since the beginning of this year 34 people in the province have died in drownings, said Raynald Hawkins, the executive director of Quebec's lifesaving society.

Over the past two years of analyzing media reports, they found half of all drownings involved someone swimming alone.

"Never be alone," Hawkins said on Saturday. "Bring a personal floatation device with you, if you have to make a rescue you'll have an extension that you can give to the person having difficulty."

Since drownings when a lifeguard is on duty are incredibly rare, he questions what happened in the incident with the 14-year-old girl, who reportedly was known not to swim well.

"Usually when we have lifeguards on duty, they ask you to follow the safety rules," he said. "They ask if you are a swimmer or non-swimmer when you have to jump in the deep side of a lake or swimming pool."

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