Montreal

Kayaker dies after falling into icy St. Lawrence River near Old Port

Montreal Fire Chief Benoit Martel said the man had a life jacket and cold water gear but unfortunately he still died after being in the water about an hour.

The man was in the water for about an hour, according to Montreal fire department

A man has died after falling out of his kayak on the St. Lawrence River near Montreal's Clocktower Quay Saturday afternoon. (Radio-Canada)

A 56-year-old man died Saturday after falling out of his kayak near Montreal's Old Port and remaining in the icy water for about an hour.

Montreal firefighters began a rescue operation after getting a call from the coast guard around 2 p.m. saying there was a man in distress.

Fire Chief Benoît Martel said that the victim was kayaking with a group of five others when he fell out of his boat.

Then, Martel explained, the current pushed him toward the docks east of the Clocktower quay.

Firefighters tried to rescue him but were too late, even though the man was wearing a life jacket and winter boating gear.

"There's a specialized crew for going out on the cold water," Martel explained. "We know that in the St. Lawrence River, flow is very important and we have big chunks of ice. So it's very dangerous."