A 52-year-old has died after a marine incident in Arden, Central Frontenac Township, on Big Clear Lake.
On Wednesday, Jul. 5, 2023, officers from the Frontenac County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and crews from Central Frontenac Fire and Rescue responded reports of a marine incident on Big Clear Lake in Central Frontenac. Initial reports to police indicated that an individual operating a personal watercraft (such as a jet ski or wave runner) had been thrown from the watercraft. The person was not wearing a life jacket at the time of they were ejected from the vessel, according to police.
“The individual went beneath the water and did not resurface,” the OPP said in a press release on Friday, Jul. 7, 2023.
“Despite an exhaustive search, Police and Fire were unable to locate the individual in the water and suspended the search overnight to await the arrival of the OPP’s Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU).”
The following day, the missing individual was located in the lake by members of the USRU just before 3 p.m. The 52-year-old from Scarborough was pronounced deceased at the scene. Although foul play is not suspected, an OPP collision reconstructionist and the Office of the Chief Coroner are involved in the currently ongoing investigation, according to the Frontenac OPP.
Police emphasized the importance of life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) when on the water, noting that the OPP has investigated eight boating/paddling deaths across Ontario since the start of 2023. Not properly wearing a PFD contributed to six of those deaths, police said.
“Always choose a Canadian approved lifejacket and wear it every time you are out on the water, regardless of whether you are an avid paddler or powerboat enthusiast,” the OPP urged.
“Life jackets only save lives if you are wearing them!”
Police pointed to the Canadian Coast Guard website as a trusted source of information on PFDs and water safety.
The identity of the deceased individual was not released.