Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Portneuf-sur-Mer : the coroner concludes that it was drowning

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The community of Portneuf-sur-Mer, on the North Shore, was deeply shaken after the death of five people fishing for capelin on the banks of the St. Lawrence.


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Coroner Bernard Lefrançois has just file its reports on the deaths of four young people and an adult last June in Portneuf-sur-Mer. He concluded in each case that it was an accidental drowning to which hypothermia may have contributed.

The five people were part of a group going capelin fishing, fishing which takes place after the sun sets.

The goal was to get to an offshore sandbar about 3,000 feet from shore. To get there, they had all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and small trailers pulled by the ATVs. They got there without problem, made a fire on the dune and looked to see if the capelin was there, relates the coroner.

The rapid rise of the tide did not allow them to be brought back to the shore by mountain bike.

The most It is likely that the adult went to where the four boys were waiting for him, after a first trip to bring other people to the shore.

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Subsequently, the ATV and its trailer probably got stuck or overturned in the water.

Emergency services were called to 1:36 a.m. June 3, 2023. Given the darkness, the rising tide and the configuration of the scene, the rescue operation was complicated. It was only in the morning, at low tide and at sunrise, that the bodies of the four boys were spotted, continues the coroner.

He emphasizes that the adults present were familiar with capelin fishing, but that they had perhaps misjudged the speed of the rising waters.

More details to come.

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