PICKERING – A 33-year-old woman is dead after trying to rescue her son during a weekend swim in Lake Ontario, police say.
The incident reportedly happened in Pickering in Frenchmen’s Bay.
Durham Regional Police say the woman’s six-year-old boy was on an inflatable raft in the lake near Pickering when the wind blew him away from shore on Sunday afternoon. With rough waters, police say it made it difficult for swimmers.
“She went after him to try and help,” says Dave Selby with Durham police.
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That was when several other people who were there at the time tried to help her as well.
“They were able to get the kid off the raft and back to shore safely,” says Selby.
While one man was able to rescue the child, police say the mother was unable to swim back and had to be helped to land.
She was brought to land without vital signs and taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
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The whole ordeal was a devastating thought for residents in the area that come here often.
“My heart just sank,” says Ainsley Saker. “I’m not a mother, but I could feel the pain with her family. She was trying to save her son and she didn’t come out, which is really sad.”
People who live here are in shock that something like this could happen in their back yard, but Selby says a drowning can happen anywhere.
“We’ve seen children drown in swimming pools with adults in the area. You really need to be within one arm’s length of that kid to be safe.”