An attempt to rescue a woman in distress in the Saint-Charles River turned tragic on Sunday evening when her companion was also swept away by the current. The search resumed Monday morning with the help of divers and the Sûreté du Québec helicopter to try to find the two young people who disappeared in the waters of the river.
The two young people in their twenties were on the cycle path of the Parc des Saules near a bridge when for an unknown reason the woman fell into the water.
The person accompanying her would have tried to rescue her, but the strength of the current and the presence of significant eddies would have worked against him.
A large deployment was dispatched to the scene as soon as the call to 9-1-1, around 6:15 p.m.
The firefighters with the nautical squad went to the scene, as did the dog handlers. A drone was used to try to find the young people. The banks were also raked up and down, but to no avail.
Several friends of the missing were there. They did not yet realize what could have happened when they seemed to be taking a stroll to this very popular place which leads to the O'Neill House.
Passers-by told the Journal that every day, several cyclists and walkers use this track. Often people go down close to the river.
Several police officers and other resources participated in the operation, but the darkness slowed down the enthusiasm of the many responders, who had to suspend the search. These were to resume at daybreak.
The SPVQ could not confirm whether a shoe and clothing found belonged to the disappeared, specifying that all the clues that could advance the search were to be taken into consideration.
Walkers used to the area said that the stream was quite choppy due to the many millimeters of rain that had fallen in the last few days.
Moreover, companies specializing in canoe trips had informed enthusiasts today that only regulars could go down the Saint-Charles River.
The helicopter as backup
The SPVQ assured Monday morning that all efforts were being made to find the two missing.
The search resumed at the start of the day on the winding body of water, its banks and from the air while divers from the Sûreté du Québec as well as the provincial police helicopter took part in the operation.
The aircraft arrived around 9:30 am, flying over the river at low altitude near this residential sector of Duberger-Les Saules in the hope of locating clues.
The research perimeter totals more than ten kilometres, from the bicycle path bridge at Neuvialle Boulevard to the St. Lawrence River.
The depth of the river is a dozen feet where the tragedy occurred.
A drone and dog handlers are also deployed for a second day. The SPVQ command post is on site.
The police favor the accidental thesis in this case.
- With the collaboration of Dominique Lelièvre