Quebec coroner launches inquiry into drowning death of Montreal firefighter

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Lacroix had over 30 years of experience as a firefighter and was honoured in a public funeral at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Lacroix had over 30 years of experience as a firefighter and was honoured in a public funeral at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Quebec's coroner's office is launching an inquiry into the death of a firefighter who drowned during an operation in Montreal last October.

Pierre Lacroix, 58, died when the rescue boat he and three colleagues were using to help two boaters in distress in the Lachine rapids of the St. Lawrence River capsized.

While the boaters and the other three firefighters were saved, Lacroix was trapped under the boat and drowned.

Lacroix had over 30 years of experience as a firefighter and was honoured in a public funeral at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Coroner Géhane Kamel will preside over the inquest, which aims to shed light on the probable causes and circumstances of the death. Recommendations may also be made following the investigation.

The inquiry will look into the mission of nautical rescue and prevention teams, as well as their intervention techniques and how they communicate.

Lacroix was the first Montreal firefighter to die in the line of duty in nine years.

In 2012, 39-year-old Thierry Godfrind was struck by the fire truck that had driven him to the site of a fire. Before that, a Montreal fire captain, Marcel Marleau, died in 2006 while battling a fire.

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