Witnesses reportedly saw the man's body drifting, but he was too far from shore to jump into the water and try to help him (archive).
A man who was swimming in the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port area of Montreal reportedly drowned. He has been missing since Friday afternoon and searches have been made for him, to no avail.
A call has been sent to 9-1-1 to 3:35 p.m. concerning a person in distress in the waters of the St. Lawrence River near Pierre-Dupuy Avenue and the Concorde Bridge.
According to the first information collected from witnesses, a man in his thirties was swimming alone in the waters of the river before he drifted and called for help. He did not appear to be wearing a flotation device.
This sector of Montreal is particularly popular with people who go windsurfing on the river. Witnesses reportedly saw the man being swept away by the current, waving for help. It would have sunk under water.
Witnesses reportedly saw the man's body drifting, but he was too far from shore to jump into the water and try to help.
The man probably drowned, said spokeswoman for the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Marianne Allaire-Morin, but at nightfall the victim had still not been located due to the strong current present in the St. Lawrence River.
The SPVM nautical squad participated in the search with the Montreal Fire Department and the Coast Guard. The Sûreté du Québec also deployed a helicopter. Around 9 p.m., darkness caused the teams to cease their search.
No search operation will continue on Saturday at daybreak, considering that the current is very strong at this point in the river. It is impossible to say beyond a doubt that the man drowned, but if there is a lifeless body, it would have drifted very far, says Constable Allaire – Morin. The body was seen drifting away, she said.
It could be that the person managed to get out of the water further, but the chances are slim. This remains to be determined […] we must leave all the assumptions on the table, mentioned Ms. Allaire-Morin.
The man has not yet been identified by the SPVM. At this time, the police department has not received a missing persons notice that would identify the man.