Manitoba RCMP say they’ve recovered the body of a man missing since the boat he and others were on capsized on Lake Winnipeg over the weekend.
Nour Ali, 42, a prominent member of Winnipeg’s Syrian-Kurdish community who worked with newcomers, hadn’t been seen since the boat overturned near Belair, Man., on Lake Winnipeg Saturday.
In a tweet, RCMP said Ali’s body was found Thursday at 2:30 p.m. with help from the Canadian Coast Guard and the Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team.
“We are heartbroken to learn today that our beloved friend, father, and husband Nour Ali was found in the water. We know that so many others are sharing this great loss,” said a family spokesperson in an email to Global News.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the RCMP, and many other volunteers and organizations who continued to tirelessly search for Nour and are supporting our family in many ways during this terrible time.
“We would also like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the locals who, on Saturday, noticed something was wrong and risked their lives to try and save all of our loved ones”.
Ali’s father, 73-year-old Hamza Ali, also died when the boat capsized. His body was recovered Saturday.
Three other men, aged 37, 48 and 65, were rescued and taken to hospital.
Police have previously said the men were fishing off the boat when it took on water and capsized.
The family spokesperson has previously said Nour, his wife, and two teenage daughters arrived in Winnipeg in 2012. The family became citizens in 2018 “which they are very proud of.”
Nour would go on to found his own company, Thank You Canada, and the community organization Kurdish Initiative for Refugees Inc.
According to the spokesperson, Nour and his wife left their home country of Syria in 2006 and 2008 respectively before travelling across China and Macau.
While the search was still ongoing, Nour’s friend Jennifer Chen told 680 CJOB he was a person known for his kindness and “a man with a warm heart and helping hands”.
“He was always willing to lend a hand to whoever needs help. He was always there for the community — not only the Kurdish and Syrian community, but everyone, every community,” Chen said.
Manitoba RCMP say they were called to the area around 4:35 p.m. after a number of people on the shore could see the scene and called 911 while others who were in the water came to help.
Rescue teams, along with friends and family, have been searching for Nour since.
RCMP have said strong winds may have contributed to a tragedy.
–With files from Sam Thompson