Police say they have recovered the body of an eight-year-old boy who went missing in Lake Erie near the Southwestern Ontario beach community of Turkey Point, the first area drowning of the warm-weather season.
The body was found Sunday afternoon, about one day after the search began, according to OPP Acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk. He said he announced the discovery “with a heavy heart.”
The boy’s body was found about 10 metres off the shore in the town, a popular destination for beachgoers across Norfolk County.
The boy’s name hasn’t yet been made public. Police publicly thanked those who helped search for the boy this weekend.
Ontario Provincial Police were alerted that the boy had gone missing at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. He had left a floating device and was trying to swim to shore, police say they were told.
Family members contacted police when they were unable to find their son, police said. Rescue efforts began Saturday evening and continued overnight into Sunday.
A Brantford man who saw the search efforts called it a massive operation.
“There were a lot of boats in the water, a couple of helicopters and they also used a drone,” Justin Simon said. “There were flares over the lake all night as they continued to search.”
Simon and his girlfriend, Kerry Gordon of Waterloo, were on the water just off of Pottahawk Island on Saturday afternoon when they heard a message about someone missing.
“It’s an eerie feeling,” Simon said. “Everyone down here loves the water and loves being on it but when something like this happens it reminds you of the dangers.”