Another drowning at North Beach in 2020

Members of the Prince Edward Fire and Rescue Department. (Cathy Caley for the Gazette)

Tragedy has struck in the waters of Lake Ontario off the shore of North Beach Provincial Park for the third time this summer.

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Prince Edward County Detachment responded with Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue and Hastings Quinte EMS to North Beach Provincial Park on County Road 27 for a possible drowning on Thursday.

At approximately 4:15 p.m., a family had been swimming and one member failed to surface. An individual was pulled from the water and CPR was started by first responders on scene before being taken to Trenton Memorial Hospital.

Oussama Righi, 32, from Montreal, QC was pronounced deceased.

The Office for the Chief Coroner of Ontario is leading the investigation  with assistance from the Prince Edward OPP. A post mortem examination has been scheduled. Foul play is not suspected.

“The OPP would like to remind everyone to be aware of current conditions before entering any body of water especially being aware of their location and any hazards present,”  Community Safety / Media Relations Officer  Provincial Constable Aaron Miller said. “Eastern Ontario has seen a tragic number of drowning incidents in 2020. In many cases, proper use of a life jacket would have almost certainly resulted in a different outcome. If you are heading out on the water, wear your personal floatation device (PFD) or life jacket.   It cannot save you if you don’t wear it.”

Along with a drowning at the Dunes beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park earlier this summer, this latest instance makes four drownings at Provincial Parks in Prince Edward County.