Search for missing boy, presumed drowned, continues

The search continues for an 11-year-old boy after the boat he was in capsized on the St. Lawrence River, west of Rockport on September 1, 2018 at approximately 4 p.m.

Members of the Leeds County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a possible drowning on the St. Lawrence River after it was reported that five people had been thrown into the water when the boat they were in capsized. Four people were rescued, but an 11-year-old boy failed to resurface and could not be found. The boy and his family had been vacationing in the area from Ottawa.

Since the onset of this tragedy, the Leeds County OPP has been assisted with this search by numerous OPP specialized units including Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU), Snowmobile/All Terrain/Vessel Enforcement (SAVE), Aviation Services, Marine Program and the Emergency Response Team (ERT). In addition, assistance from the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), Parks Canada, Thousand Islands Fire Service, US Border Patrol, Canadian and US Coast Guard. Ed Huck Marine has supported efforts immensely with accommodation, staging and launch availability. Members of the community have also provided assistance in trying to locate the boy.

On September 6, 2018 the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit, after conducting numerous dives and an extensive search of the area have concluded this stage of the search pending any new information.

The search remains active with OPP Marine Units, OPP Aviation assets and other participating agencies conducting search grids and patrols along the St Lawrence River in the Rockport area.

“On behalf of the OPP, I would like to thank members of the public for their continued support during this difficult time and to those that have volunteered and assisted with the search. We will continue to evaluate and reassess our search efforts with changing conditions along the St Lawrence River. We remain committed to finding this young boy so we can provide his family and the community with a resolution,” states Inspector Mike Francis, Detachment Commander of Leeds County OPP.

Leeds County OPP is also reminding residents and visitors to the area to remain vigilant with upcoming events on the river this coming weekend.

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