Ottawa River drowning victims identified
Two men from Arctic Bay, Nunavut, who drowned in the Ottawa River over the weekend were remembered for their generosity and love of family.
Solomon Oyukuluk, 26, and Ian Shooyuk, 20, were in Ottawa as medical travel escorts for Oyukuluk's 60-year-old mother and Shooyuk's 73-year-old adoptive father.
The two men were with three others when they walked far out into the Deschênes Rapids Saturday night and disappeared.
Shooyuk's body was recovered on Monday, and Oyukuluk's body was discovered Tuesday afternoon.
Police brought Oyukuluk's body to shore, where it was wrapped in a Canadian flag. The 26-year-old man had served with the Canadian Rangers.
The water where the men disappeared is about two feet deep for a long stretch, according to Ottawa police Staff Sgt. John McGetrick, and then there is a steep drop-off.
Police have said alcohol appeared to be a factor in the incident.
Larga Baffin community mourns
The families were staying at Larga Baffin, the resource centre and temporary home for people coming into Ottawa for medical trips.
The centre issued a statement late Tuesday saying staff, family and residents were "very saddened by the tragic and accidental drowning" of the two men.
"Both young men were very well liked and respected by those that knew them," the centre said in a statement on behalf of the families.
Isaac Shooyuk, speaking through an Inuktitut interpreter, called his adoptive son an "angel" and a kind and caring young man."
Oyukuluk's mother, Tootalie Qangoo, described him as a good boy with a quiet demeanor. Larga Baffin said its statement Oyukuluk had been an escort on a number of occasions and was well liked by staff.
The family said they expect to return the bodies of the two men home where they will be laid to rest.