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Nine-year-old drowns after falling into icy Rideau

Neighbours of a nine-year-old drowning victim yesterday recalled the boy as “nice,” “cute” and “always smiling.”

Neighbours of a nine-year-old drowning victim yesterday recalled the boy as “nice,” “cute” and “always smiling.”

The boy, who lived with his mother, father and younger sister in a third-floor apartment on Wiggins Private, had been playing with a friend on the shore of the Rideau River when he fell in the icy water and drowned yesterday.

Firefighters received an emergency call at 2:02 p.m. after the victim’s friend ran for help.

Sixteen minutes later, the drowning boy was pulled from the water near Strathcona Park by firefighters who were able to reach him using a specialized ice boat and a regular watercraft. Their efforts, tragically, would be in vain.

Firefighters pulled the boy from the water about 800 metres downstream from where he fell in. Finding no vital signs on the boy, firefighters and paramedics attempted to resuscitate the boy immediately, said Ottawa paramedic spokesman J.P. Trottier. The boy was taken to hospital without vital signs and was declared dead 40 minutes after arriving at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Investigators were interviewing witnesses yesterday evening. The death is not being treated as suspicious, said Ottawa police Sgt. Paul Batista.

Batista said the police would not release the name of the victim until the boy’s parents had been notified, and only then with the family’s permission.

“We need to warn parents and kids to just stay away from icy surfaces, ponds, water, lakes. Stay away from the shore even, because it’s slippery and muddy and wet. Stay away completely from any waterways, icy or not,” said Trottier.

 
 
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