UPDATE: Divers find body of missing boater

Terry Roberts
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The search for a missing boater is continuing at Seal Cove Pond, near Heart's Content. — Photo by Terry Roberts/The Compass

Police divers have found the body of a boater who went missing on Seal Cove Pond near Heart’s Content on Monday morning.

Sgt. Marc Coulombe of the Trinity Conception District RCMP said divers found the man’s remains at about 3:30 p.m. today, and were making recovery plans.

The victim is a 49-year-old resident of Brownsdale. Police say it’s not likely his identity will be released, at the request of his family.

The man was alone in a 12-foot rowboat at about 9:30 a.m. on Monday when he apparently fell overboard. He was not wearing a floatation device. The victim was wearing several layers of clothing, including a heavy jacket and coveralls.

It was the second day of the trouting season.

The two occupants of a nearby boat attempted to help the man, but were unsuccessful.

The RCMP’s underwater recovery team arrived at the pond Tuesday morning to complement search efforts already underway by the Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue team.

The pond is located just off Route 80 in between Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire, and is known to be a popular destination for area trouters.

•••••

(Earlier today)

RCMP divers continue to search the waters of Seal Cove Pond near Heart’s Content for the remains of a boater who went missing Monday morning.

Members of the underwater recovery team arrived at the pond on Tuesday morning in an attempt to find the 49-year-old man from Brownsdale. It coincides with an extensive surface search that began on Monday by members of the Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue team.

Conditions on the pond today were ideal for the search, police officials said.

The man was alone in a 12-foot rowboat at about 9:30 a.m. on Monday when he apparently fell overboard. He was not wearing a floatation device.

The incident happened in about six metres of water, just one day after the trouting season opened.

The missing man’s first cousin, Renney Matthews, and his son, Christopher, were also fishing in the pond Monday morning. They were several hundred metres away, but Matthews said he quickly noticed that something was wrong.

“I saw the splash,” Matthews said Tuesday morning, as he watched the search unfold from the roadside.

Matthews said his cousin kicked several times before disappearing under the water.

“We knew he had no life-jacket, so we got to him as quickly as we could.”

But Matthews’ small boat only had a five horsepower engine and Matthews said it was “an eerie feeling” when they pulled up alongside the empty boat, its engine still idling and a hat floating on the surface.

There was no sign of the victim.

Matthews said his cousin was wearing several layers of clothing, including a heavy jacket and coveralls. He said they searched unsuccessfully for about 90 minutes as they waited for emergency personnel to respond.

 

 “The water was black. We couldn’t see anything,” said Matthews. “We were just helpess.”

 

Matthews described his cousin as a “good family man,” and added, “I just want them to find his remains, for his family’s sake.”

 

The pond is located just off Route 80 in between Heart’s Content and Heart’s Desire, and is known to be a popular destination for area trouters.

 

Police have not released the identity of the missing boater.

 

editor@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: RCMP, Avalon North Wolverines, Route 80

Geographic location: Brownsdale

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Recent comments

  • Donny Dooley Dildo NL
    May 17, 2011 - 15:10

    Newfies don't like wearing helmets, seatbelts or life-jackets. Never did, never will.

  • STEPHANIE
    May 17, 2011 - 14:48

    if a thing for safety why should cost matter? its going to save your life! i dont know about you, but i know my self and i can't put a price on my life or anybody else that i love. you can get life jackets that are comfortable.. if you can't swim i suggest you pull out your wallet and invest in something that you will regret not getting later.

  • STEPHANIE
    May 17, 2011 - 14:42

    if a thing for safety why should cost matter? its going to save your life! i dont know about you, but i know my self and i can't put a price on my life or anybody else that i love. you can get life jackets that are comfortable.. if you can't swim i suggest you pull out your wallet and invest in something that you will regret not getting later.

  • michael king
    May 17, 2011 - 13:34

    so sad to see this happen.but why is that this is always happening in newfoundland.99 per cent of the time,these incidents have 1 thing in common. NO LIFE JACKETS.When will we ever learn?

    • Concerned
      May 17, 2011 - 13:51

      Maybe if life jackets were a little less uncomfortable and a little more affordable people would wear them........Its a thing for safety why cost so much?

    • Concerned
      May 17, 2011 - 13:53

      Maybe if life jackets were a little less uncomfortable and a little more affordable people would wear them........Its a thing for safety why cost so much?