News / Halifax

Quebec Woman found dead in ocean off Peggy's Cove

Nova Scotia RCMP said she was alone at the time of her death, but could provide few other details on how she ended up in the rough, chilly waters.

The new warning signs at Peggy's Cove are shown.

Jeff Harper/Metro

The new warning signs at Peggy's Cove are shown.

A popular Nova Scotia tourist spot is once again grappling with tragedy.

In the dark and dangerous waters off Peggy's Cove, a woman from a small Quebec town drowned Sunday.

Police officers, paramedics and fire fighters responded to an emergency call about someone in the ocean off the rocks at Peggy's Cove at about 1:40 p.m., according to a Nova Scotia RCMP news release.

“A woman was recovered from the water and was pronounced deceased,” said the RCMP release, which was sent to media at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Some local fishermen reportedly tried to rescue the woman, but she had already died when they found her in the chilly waters.

"She was 46 and was from Quebec," RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said Monday afternoon, adding the deceased woman was from a small town.

"We didn't want to name the town, as we didn't feel that all the family members had been notified at this point," Cpl. Clarke said.

The woman "was alone at the time" of her death, Cpl. Clarke said, "and not believed to be travelling with a group."

Police could not provide any other information on how the woman ended up in the water.

"We're leaving all of our options open with respect to investigative avenues and circumstances," she said.

This isn't the first time the Atlantic Ocean has claimed the lives of visitors to the Peggy's Cove area.

Last April, a young man from Smith Falls, Ont., died when he was swept off the rocks and dragged out to sea by a large wave. Last July, another Ontario man almost lost his life after falling into the ocean, but was saved when he was pulled out of the waters by local tourist boat operators.

Just this past March, the Nova Scotia government announced plans to implement new safety measures at Peggy's Cove, including enhanced warning signs, a video message in the visitor information centre, intrepretative panels describing the ocean's strength and a social media campaign.

John Campbell, owner of the Sou’wester Restaurant adjacent to the lighthouse, told Metro Halifax in a March interview that rock barriers would also be installed around his business's parking lot to help direct visitors to three different entrances to the rocks, which would all be properly signed.

Campbell, along with other community members and local organizations, made recommendations for the new Peggy's Cove safety measures to the provincial government.

“There are going to be people who don’t use the best judgement and put themselves in harm’s way," Campbell told Metro in March. "I can’t stop someone from going out on the rocks and jumping in or getting too close to black rock."

“The only way we can stop that is to close the rocks, which I don’t think is the solution," he said at the time. "But we’ve got to make sure that people have a fair chance to know what the dangers are.”

When reached by phone Monday, Campbell had no comment on Sunday's most recent death off Peggy's Cove. He also had no comment on this tourist season's new safety measures on site.

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