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An American Man Died While Fishing In An Ontario Lake After A Boat Capsized

The OPP had to bring in a helicopter.

Toronto Staff Writer
A police boat cruising an Ontario lake.

A police boat cruising an Ontario lake.

This article contains content that may be upsetting to some of our readers.

A fishing expedition took a tragic turn over the weekend after a sudden boating accident cost a man his life.

According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), members of its Dryden detachment responded to a report of a boat capsizing on Clay Lake at around 5:15 p.m. on June 4.

The vessel, which was carrying two individuals, was reportedly overturned while the pair were fishing near some rapids.

"One of the individuals was able to hang onto the boat and call for help and was later rescued by employees from a nearby lodge," the report states.

Sadly, the other fisherman, later identified as 71-year-old David Nitzel of Rhineland, Wisconsin, was unable to cling to the craft, with OPP ultimately needing to charter a helicopter to locate him.

The police say the case is a "suspected drowning" and Nitzel was pronounced deceased at the scene.

"Year after year, the vast majority of victims killed in boating incidents were not wearing a lifejacket or PFD," the release concludes. "With capsized vessels and falling over the top contributing factors in boating deaths every year, a significant number of lives stand to be saved if boaters and paddlers wore lifejackets/PFDs."

According to the Lifesaving Society, approximately 265 people died of drowning in Canada from 2020 to 2021. Eighty-six percent of those victims were male, and 91% of the incidents occurred in "natural bodies of water."

Boating incidents made up only 31% of the overall drownings in Canada during the past two years. However, 74% of deaths occurred during a recreational activity.

    Patrick John Gilson
    Toronto Staff Writer
    Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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