An eight-year-old boy who drowned in Lake Erie off Turkey Point over the weekend has been identified as Mustapha Adam of Toronto.
The victim was at the beach with his family when he got into trouble in the water around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Witnesses told police the boy left his floating raft and tried to swim back to shore.
When his family lost sight of him, they called 911.
That prompted a massive search that continued through the night and into Sunday, involving local police, firefighters and paramedics, the OPP marine unit, the Coast Guard, a police helicopter and aircraft from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton.
Beachgoers scanned the waves from the shoreline, while multiple boats traversed the lake’s surface in search of the missing boy. Witnesses reported seeing flares and searchlights illuminate the water throughout the night.
Some residents of Turkey Point moved out of their cottage to give the boy’s family somewhere to stay while the search continued.
On Sunday afternoon, members of the OPP underwater search and recovery unit found Adam’s body some 180 metres away from the shoreline near Cedar Drive.
“The OPP would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to witnesses that provided information to the investigating officers, and to everyone in the Turkey Point community that offered their assistance to the family while dealing with this tragedy,” said OPP acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk, who credited emergency responders for their tireless efforts during the search.
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator