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Swimmer presumed drowned in Port Colborne despite rescue efforts

Search effort to continue today
NRPS police-car-2019
File Photo

On Aug. 27, 2020 at approximately 1:30 p.m., emergency service personnel responded the area of Sherkston Beach on Lake Erie in the City of Port Colborne for a report of a possible drowning.

The initial investigation by 6 District – Port Colborne uniform officers arriving on scene determined that six persons (two adult males and four children under 13 years old) had been in the water when they became distressed in the 5-6 foot waves.

Three members of the public entered the water to rescue the struggling swimmers. As a result of their efforts, one of the adult males and the children were able to be pulled from the water. The male was transported by Niagara Emergency Medical Services paramedics to a local hospital for assessment. 

Lifeguards from the nearby Sherkston Shores Beach Resort and Campground responded to the beach when hearing the cries for help. The lifeguards entered the water to attempt to rescue the second adult male who was not able to return to shore. Lifeguards and witnesses lost sight of him in the turbulent water.

Officers from the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) Marine Unit attended the scene with a boat to assist with the search. The NRPS Marine Unit was assisted by the Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue Unit (POCOMAR), and the Canadian Coast Guard.

On-water search efforts to locate the missing male were suspended at approximately 3:50 p.m. when water and weather conditions worsened (thunder and lightning).

The missing man in his 30s from Waterloo, Ont. is presumed to have drowned. Foul play is not suspected.

The Marine Unit is planning to return to Lake Erie to continue search efforts on Aug. 28, 2020.

The matter remains under investigation by 3 District detectives.  Anyone who may information or may have witnessed this matter is asked to call 905-688-4111, ext. 3300.