A man in his 20s is presumed dead after the dinghy he was in was swept up in the Deschênes Rapids and capsized on Sunday afternoon.
Gatineau emergency crews rescued a 24-year-old man, who had been in a separate inflatable boat, from the Ottawa River just before 5 p.m. He was wearing a life jacket, according to Gatineau Fire Services. The missing man was not believed to have been wearing a life jacket.
Eva Mathys called 911 from the Britannia Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon when she saw the strong current pull the boats in.
"I was on the phone with 911 and I said, "They're going in now," so I ran around to the back side of the yacht club, and by the time I got there I could no longer see them at all. No boats. Nothing," she said.
Rapids a trouble spot for boaters
Britannia Yacht Club member Bob Huggins said that while experienced boaters know how to navigate the rapids, it's still a trouble spot for many.
"No one could out-row the current in those rapids. It's unbelievable. It's the power of the water. And this happens every year and no one learns," he said.
In 2009, two men drowned in the same area while trying to cross the river in a dinghy.
Police reminded boaters to wear life jackets — especially near the rapids.
The search for the missing man resumed Monday morning, said Ottawa Const. Marc Soucy.
"We have divers in the water, boats in the water and we have officers walking the shore to see if we can locate the missing man," Soucy said.
The identity of the missing man has not been released.