A 33-year-old man drowned in Conestogo Lake near Drayton, Ont. on Sunday after helping rescue a child who fell into the water.
According to Wellington County OPP, the incident began earlier on Sunday around noon, when emergency crews were called to the conservation area in Mapleton Township for reports of a possible drowning.
Officials say it was reported a child went in the water from a boat and the victim jumped in the water and attempted to assist the child.
Witnesses were able to pull the child safely from the water, however, the victim did not resurface.
Ornge Air Ambulance was initially called in and then later called off. The OPP helicopter arrived around 5 p.m. to help with the search.
Other boaters also reportedly helped to search for him when they realized what happened.
Police say where the incident happened is not a part of the conservation area.
Wellington County OPP tweeted that its Underwater Search and Recovery Unit found the body of the missing man around 8:45 p.m.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Monday, officials identified the victim as Mapleton Township resident Matthew Reynold Ottens.
”It was absolutely devastating. There was a lot of extended family there as well as friends to support the immediate family,” said Cst. Kirk MacDonald with Wellington County OPP.
A post-mortem examination has been scheduled for June 14, 2021.
”It’s in hopes that it will give some answers, not just to investigators, but to family members as well as to what happened,” MacDonald said.
Police have not confirmed whether the man was wearing a life jacket when he went missing.
OPP say they are offering their condolences to the man’s family and friends.
”It hits a community, a small community, quite hard because as is often the case, people know each other,” MacDonald said.