Accident Database

Report ID# 3677

  • Flush Drowning
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Accident Description


Andrew Barrie's body found in Canada after waterfall death

Andrew BarrieMr Barrie was on holiday in Canada with his wife and teenage son

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Authorities in Canada have recovered the body of a Scottish holidaymaker who died after being swept over a waterfall with two others in British Columbia.

Andrew Barrie, 50, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, died while white water rafting on the Kettle River, near Grand Forks, on 28 June. He was on holiday at the time with his wife Carol and 16-year-old son Andrew.The bodies of two elderly local people, who were swept away with Mr Barrie, were found last week.

A statement from emergency services in Canada said: "On Monday afternoon 6 August 2012, Grand Forks Search and Rescue and Christina Lake Fire Department were able to successfully recover a body from the Cascade Cove area of the Kettle River, near Grand Forks.

'Great sadness'

"The body has been positively identified as the missing 50-year-old male visitor from Scotland.

"He is the last of the three people to be recovered following the July 28th rafting incident."

Generic shot of rafting on a river in British ColumbiaThe group were rafting and tubing on the river in British Columbia

In a statement issued last week through the UK Foreign Office, Mr Barrie's family spoke of their "great sadness and grief" following the accident.

The statement said: "What had started as a beautiful, peaceful float on the river, with friends who knew the river well, turned to tragedy with the loss of three lives."

The bodies of Ronald Legare, 74, and his 71-year-old wife, Jean, were recovered shortly after the accident. The couple, from nearby Lake Christina, were thought to be part of a group of 13, including Mr Barrie, which was tubing and rafting.

Witnesses spoke of seeing three people being swept over the waterfall after their crafts capsized.

The stretch of the river where the accident happened was said to be "treacherous with strong currents" following a period of heavy rain.

2 dead, 1 presumed drowned in tubing accident near Grand Forks

(CTV) Published Sunday, Jul. 29, 2012

A couple from Christina Lake, B.C. are dead and a 50-year-old Scottish man is presumed drowned after being pulled over a waterfall while tubing in Kettle River near Grand Forks, B.C. July 29, 2012. this weekend. Police and rescue crews were called to Kettle River Saturday afternoon when two men and one woman from a group of approximately 13 people on a tubing adventure were swept up in the current past Trestle Bridge, west of Cascade Falls, RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said.

Witnesses pulled a 74-year-old man from Christina Lake out from the water below the falls, but despite efforts he could not be revived. "People were hanging their heads and stuff like that, so it's something you do not ever want to see,” James Pike of Cascade Cove Campground said. Search and rescue technicians were unable to find the body of the man’s 71-year-old wife before nightfall. After resuming the search on Sunday, they recovered the woman’s body from the gorge by using a helicopter. Police said the body of a 50-year-old Scottish man has not yet been found. His body is possibly trapped in the falls and could take a week to surface. The names of victims have not yet been released.

Rescue co-ordinator Barry Savitskoff heard the tragedy taking place. "The whole family was up here and I, from the campground, could even hear the screaming, the family screaming, as it was going on,” he said. "They were just floating down and all of a sudden they realized, ‘Oh no, we've got to, we're in trouble here,’ because you come around the corner and all of a sudden you’re in the canyon,” Savitskoff added. “I guess they bailed, the 16-year-old boy made it to shore and the rest didn't." RCMP Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison said fatalities at Cascade Falls are unfortunately common.

This weekend’s victims were the first fatalities of the year and in 2011 one person died there. He added the area is known for being dangerous and local residents should know not to tube there. Although young people occasionally jump off the bridge or the nearby cliffs, locals say they’ve never heard of people riding a raft into the area of Kettle River and going over the falls. For some the accident is particularly hard to accept because the couple were from the area. “This was locals. All the kids are usually are not locals. They don't know too much about the waters, but this couple they should have known, they should have known,” Savitskoff said. With files from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat

Read more:


B.C.: Teen tried to save father in Kettle River rafting tragedy

This is not what the river looked like where the accident happened, but rivers can look serene when they are wild around the next bend or the currents below the surface are racing over hidden obstacles.  Lifejackets definitely improve the odds of surviving a mishap in fast and cold water, but the resistence to wearing them continues.


7008587.binAfter a party of rafters were tossed into the Kettle River and swept toward Cascade Falls on Saturday, a 16-year-old boy frantically swam to shore and raced along the bank in a frantic bid to catch them.

One of them was his father, a 50-year-old Scottish man who is still missing and presumed drowned. The other two, Ron and Jacqueline Legare died after the current sucked them into the dangerous gorge.

“He was running all the way down the train trestle to catch any of the three,” said Barry Savitskoff, head of the Grand Forks Search and Rescue. “He’s pretty distraught.” The Legares, who are longtime Christina Lake residents, were with a group of 13 friends and family fora float-tube outing on the Kettle River, which draws hundreds of people daily during the summertime. Starting their journey near the community of Gilpin, the group travelled about eight kilometres along mild waters, until they rounded a curve and found themselves swept into the canyon. The strong current and high waters pulled them past the normal exit point for tubers and toward the gorge.

“The water just got faster, sooner. It just got rough and they were thrown overboard,” said Grace McGregor, the elected representative for Kootenay-Boundary. “It was hard for them to get out.”

Witnesses at the nearby Cascade Cove campground heard a woman screaming around 5 p.m. Rescue officials recovered Ron Legare, 74, shortly after the accident but couldn’t revive him. The body of his 71-year-old wife was recovered Sunday. The 50-year-old man — who was visiting the province with is wife and son — is still missing and presumed drowned. His name had not been released Monday.

Jacqueline Legare was the only one wearing a life-jacket. Police recovered an inner tube, an air mattress and a one-person inflatable dinghy that the three were reportedly using.

Meanwhile the search continues for the missing man, Savitskoff said Monday. “We’re checking out the back eddies throughout the day,” he said. “[His wife] just wants to get back to Scotland and get the young boy home.”

The Kettle River is about six feet above normal for this time of year, he added.

The tragedy has prompted emergency officials to remind the public to take care around B.C.’s swollen lakes and rivers. The late snowpack and heavy rains in June has meant higher-than-normal water levels this year, said David Campbell, of B.C.’s Rivers Forecast Centre, noting most of the province’s rivers are running at least 50 per cent higher than usual, with some experiencing three times their normal flow and volume.

This means they are not only running faster but are deeper, many of the usual landmarks can’t be seen and there aren’t as many safe spots to pull out.

“Virtually across the province all the rivers are running higher than they normally would be for this time of year,” Campbell said. “Certainly caution around rivers is always important ... the conditions might be different than people might expect at this time of year. Each river has its own challenges and there’s always an inherent risk.”

The Kettle River tragedy has thrown the close-knit community of Christina Lake into mourning. McGregor said the Legares were longtime residents who were no strangers to tubing on the river.




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