Boy, 2, drowns at Petrie Island

A two-year-old boy drowned in the Ottawa River near Petrie Island on Tuesday, Ottawa police say.

Child pulled from water after being reported missing late Tuesday afternoon

Firefighters pulled the child from the Ottawa River at Petrie Island on June 16, 2020. (Olivier Plante/Radio Canada)

A two-year-old boy drowned in the Ottawa River at Petrie Island on Tuesday, Ottawa police say.

Emergency crews were called to the beach in Ottawa's east end around 5:30 p.m. after a child was reported missing.

A witness told Radio-Canada the boy was pulled from the water by firefighters, who performed CPR.

"Paramedics rushed the child to hospital where, despite medical interventions, he was pronounced deceased," police said in a news release.

"We offer our condolences to the family of the young boy," police said. "We also extend our thanks to the members of the public who also assisted in searching for him before emergency responders arrived."

No lifeguards on duty

In a statement on Facebook, the city councillor for the area said the boy's family "has suffered an immeasurable loss."

"Neighbours, our community is in mourning this evening. Our hearts are broken to hear the news of the death of a young child in our community," wrote Orléans Coun. Matt Luloff.

"A family has suffered an immeasurable loss. We must respect their privacy and their grief at this time. I am asking our community to give this family space and to refrain from speculation of any kind. Love and kindness is needed more than ever tonight. Be gentle to each other."

The municipal beach at Petrie Island isn't currently staffed with lifeguards.

The city plans to begin water quality testing and to have lifeguards on duty at municipal beaches starting on June 27.


  • An earlier version of this story identified the child as five years old. He was two.
    Jun 16, 2020 10:06 PM ET