OPP ARE CONTINUING THE SEARCH FOR A 9-YEAR-OLD BOY IN LAKE ERIE NEAR NANTICOKE

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Sergeant Eric Scott hauls himself out of broken ice during ice rescue training.
Sergeant Eric Scott hauls himself out of broken ice during ice rescue training.

Weather and water conditions continue to hamper efforts

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Haldimand County Detachment along with the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU) are searching for a 9-year-old boy who had fallen into the waters of Lake Erie off the shoreline of Peacock Point in Nanticoke, Haldimand County, Ontario.

With warmer weather – and frozen lakes – the message is simple – Water and Ice require serious caution

On Saturday, February 15, 2020, at 4:35 p.m., OPP, Haldimand County Fire Services and Haldimand County paramedics responded to Peacock Point where it was reported two children had fallen into Lake Erie.

OPP learned that an 8-year-old male and a 9-year-old male were on the ice edge when a wave swept them into the lake.

A 10-year-old female who was with the boys ran up to the roadway and flagged down a vehicle for help. A man and woman from the vehicle went out onto the ice to the water’s edge and were able to rescue the 8-year-old male.

The 9-year-old male did not resurface.

OPP was assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard who flew a helicopter in the area searching the area

The Joint Rescue and Co-ordination Centre also attended to assist with the search.

OPP Emergency Response Team members searched the shoreline with negative results.

The OPP USRU attended but the deteriorating and dangerous conditions kept them from entering into the water.

Search efforts were discontinued late Saturday and the status was changed to a recovery effort to resume the morning of Sunday, February 16, 2020.

On Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., the OPP USRU returned to the scene to assess the conditions of the area. Due to the incoming ice and build-up, conditions were too dangerous to enter into the water.

Conditions continue to be assessed at this time.

OPP is utilizing its helicopter to search the area and the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre is also returning to search the area.

On Monday, February 17, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit continued recovery efforts off Peacock Point.

Conditions improved with calmer winds and less ice build-up, allowing for closer access to the ice edge from the shoreline.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., recovery efforts were suspended for the day and will be resuming the morning of Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

On Tuesday February 18, 2020 at approximately 9:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit determined the conditions were too poor due to rough waters and high winds to enter the water. A shoreline search of the area is underway.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at approximately 6:00 p.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit suspended efforts for the day. Conditions were too dangerous all day and members were unable to enter the water. A shoreline search and OPP helicopter aerial search were conducted. Recovery operation to resume the morning of Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit entered into the water to resume recovery efforts. Water conditions are slightly better than the previous day. An underwater search is underway.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit suspended search efforts for the day. Divers entered the water and searched all morning and a shoreline search was also conducted, however despite their best efforts, the body was not recovered. The search and recovery operation will resume the morning of Thursday, February 20, 2020.

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit resumed search efforts utilizing their vessel and side-scan sonar to detect underwater images. The water conditions are relatively calm at this time. The search and recovery operation is scheduled to continue throughout the day.

At approximately 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 20, 2020, the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit suspended recovery operation for the day. An extensive search of the area was unsuccessful. Search efforts scheduled to resume the morning of Friday, February 21, 2020.

On Friday, February 21, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit assessed the conditions of the lake and will be launching their vessel into the water to resume search and recovery efforts utilizing sonar scan. Incoming ice forming along the shoreline. Efforts are expected to continue throughout the day.

At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2020, search efforts were suspended for the day. Conditions to be re-assessed the morning of Saturday, February 22, 2020.

On Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit re-assessed the conditions of the lake and determined conditions were too dangerous to have divers enter into the water or to have a boat on the water. A shoreline search of the area east of Peacock Point is underway. Conditions are constantly being monitored and assessed to determine the next steps in the recovery operation.

Updates will be provided as information becomes available.