Bodies of councillor, friend recovered from Big Rideau Lake

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Bodies of councillor, friend recovered from Big Rideau Lake

The bodies of a respected town councillor and a retired farmer were recovered from Big Rideau Lake Sunday night after a weekend of searching.

Coun. Harold Douglas Good, who went by Doug and was 69, and Michael Carty, 72, were reported missing Friday night.

The two friends were believed to have been heading to Cow Island on Big Rideau Lake, about an hour and half southwest of Ottawa, when their truck went through the ice, according to OPP Const. Janice Sawbridge.

A coroner's investigation is underway.

Good and Carty lived nearby in Portland, Ont., and were last seen Friday morning. They were both members of the Big Rideau Lake Association and leave behind extended families.

"Doug and Mike's passion for and commitment to their lake, community, friends and neighbours is surely a cornerstone of their continuing legacy," association president Brian Hawkins wrote in a statement.

"We have lost two great friends."

'They were terrific volunteers'

"The community of Portland is devastated by this news of two prominent people that contributed so much ... the family has our prayers with them at this point in time," said Township of Rideau Lakes Mayor Ron Holman.

"They were terrific volunteers, contributed to everything imaginable. ... They were just amazing," Holman told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Monday.

"I've known Doug Good for many years, and this was his first term on council ... Of course his family had the grocery store in Portland for many years, so Doug was a real fixture in the community, along with his family."

Holman said Carty was also a well-known member of the small community, who recently sold his farm in nearby Elgin and moved to Portland.

He hopes a memorial to the two men will be established in the longer term.

Search off MacDonald Island

Police divers joined the search Saturday and an OPP helicopter helped in the effort Sunday morning.

"I've only heard speculation, but my understanding is that the Big Rideau Lake Association at Cow Island, they have docks, and I understand that [Good and Carty] were going out to check the docks," Holman said. 

"I'm a little surprised that Doug would take the chance to go out on [the lake], but however, obviously he had good reason to believe it was safe."

Vilis Abele, who has family living near the search headquarters, went out Sunday morning to see if he could help by searching other islands nearby.

​"This will be loss that will be felt by everybody," Abele said.