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2 People Are Believed To Have Drowned In the Ottawa River Within 24 Hours

A 20-year-old has died and a 14-year-old is still missing.

Ottawa Police responded to two separate incidents at the Ottawa River this weekend, less than 24 hours apart. On Friday, officers responded to calls that a 14-year-old boy had jumped into the water from the Prince of Wales Bridge, and failed to resurface. One day later, a 20-year-old male was swimming in the same river and did not resurface. His body was recovered a short time after.

In a news release shared on July 4, the Ottawa Police Service confirmed frontline officers had responded to “a marine incident/possible drowning” at the Prince of Wales Bridge at around 9:19pm on Friday.

A group of young people had been jumping from the bridge into the Ottawa River, when a 14-year-old male failed to resurface after jumping.

Several emergency response units, including Ottawa Police, Ottawa Fire Service, Gatineau Police and the Marine, Dive and Trails Unit searched the water and shoreline for the boy, but were unable to locate him.

While officers continue to search for the 14-year-old, police told CTV News that the operation had moved from a rescue operation to a recovery operation. The boy is believed to have drowned.

On July 5, Ottawa Police shared information about another incident in the Ottawa River that occurred on Saturday, July 4.

At 8:04pm, officers responded to another “marine incident/possible drowning,” this time in the Britannia Beach area.

A group of people were swimming in the Ottawa River when a 20-year-old male went under the water and failed to resurface. 

After searching the area, Ottawa’s Marine, Dive and Trails Unit divers recovered the man’s body in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Investigators will be liaising with outside police agencies in order to advise the male’s next of kin as soon as possible,” explains the police report.

The family of the 14-year-old boy has been notified.

In both cases, Ottawa Police Service Victims Crisis Unit counsellors are assisting the witnesses, the officers and the friends and family involved.

Investigations are ongoing to determine exactly what happened in both cases.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.