Body of snowmobiler recovered near Kawartha Lakes identified as Toronto firefighter
It was initially believed that the two snowmobilers fell through the ice, but police say they accidentally entered open water.
|Report an Error|
Share via Email
The 48-year-old man found dead after accidentally ending up in the water in the Kawartha Lakes on Saturday has been identified as a Toronto firefighter, police say.
Ontario Provincial Police say two men were seen in the freezing waters of Sturgeon Lake near Bobcaygeon around 7 p.m. Officers arrived to find a bystander pulling one of the individuals out of the water; however, the other snowmobiler was nowhere to be seen.
An open water rescue was initiated to search for the second man. The body was found on Sunday around 4:30 p.m., police say.
The victim has been identified as Earl Strong, of Courtice.
It was initially reported that both men fell through the ice, but it was later confirmed that they accidentally drove their snowmobiles into the water.
Toronto Fire Services confirmed on Monday that Strong was a Toronto Fire acting captain at Station 211-B in Scarborough.
Toronto fire Chief Matthew Pegg posted on Twitter, “Deeply saddened by the tragic off-duty accident that has claimed the life of Toronto Fire acting Captain Earl Strong. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and crew members.”
The other victim was taken to hospital with severe hypothermic-related injuries.
Police have been urging people to beware of ice that may seem solid, especially with the fluctuating temperatures this winter has brought so far.
“We've been saying this since winter started — no ice is safe ice,” OPP Sgt. Peter Leon said on Sunday. “With the mild temperatures we've experienced today, the quality of the ice has been undermined. You're putting yourself and first responders under great danger.”
Police say an autopsy will be conducted this week to determine the cause of death.
More on Metronews.ca