September 29, 2008

Canadian Lake Rescue Turns Tragic

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reviewing a weekend lake rescue effort in Alberta that led to a 5-year-old girl drowning under a rescue boat.

A 911 call was received around 5:30 p.m. Saturday from a family in distress on a boat on a lake about 90 miles southeast of Calgary, the Globe and Mail reported Monday.

The RCMP, along with a provincial fish and wildlife officer and a community peace officer, responded and were met with high winds and 4-foot waves, RCMP Constable Francine Hiebert told the newspaper in a telephone interview. The rescue boat began taking on water and communications were lost, Hiebert said. It then capsized.

Other boats arrived and six hours after the 911 call, pulled rescuers and all but the missing child from the water.

When the overturned rescue boat was towed ashore, the girl's body was found beneath it, the report said. Resuscitation efforts failed and she was pronounced dead Sunday morning.