Tragedy In The Whirlpool Gorge

May 26, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 6:14 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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Tragedy In The Whirlpool Gorge

May 26, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 6:14 AM EDT

Niagara Falls, ON, Canada ( WKBW ) At approximately 4:20p.m. Saturday, the Canadian Coast Guard received a report of a 22 year old Asian male swimming shirtless near Thompson's Point near the whirlpools on the Canadian side of Niagara Whirlpool.

Witnesses report seeing the man get caught in a current and start to drift downstream.

Whirlpool tour jet boats were dispatched to try a rescue the man. The boats spotted the victim but lost sight of him before they could safely reach him.

The boats stayed in the area for about one hour but the man never resurfaced.

Erie County Air One along with tour-guide helicopters searched the area but the man was not recovered.

The search has been suspended.

Niagara Regional Police issued this release:

On Saturday May 26, 2012 just after 4 pm emergency services attended in the area of the Niagara River known as the Whirlpool for a male in distress.

Also assisting was Niagara Helicopters Limited, Whirlpool Jet Boat, Erie County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

A 22 year old male had been with friends, having a barbeque at the bottom of the gorge. The male entered the water to cool down however soon struggled against the strong currents of the river. After a short period of time it was apparent the male was in physical distress and couldn’t reach shore. A number of citizens in the area made several attempts to assist the male in getting out of the water however, were unable to so due to the strength of the currents.

Police, fire and ambulance responded and an aggressive search was conducted for over two hours. Assisting in the search was Niagara Helicopters Limited, Whirlpool Jet Boat, Erie County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. Despite all efforts the male went beneath the water and has not been seen since. Police investigation has determined the male is presumed drowned however have not been able to locate him.

Niagara Regional Police would like to express sincere gratitude to the citizens who attempted to prevent this tragedy from happening by assisting the male in distress.

Police would also like to thank Niagara Helicopters Limited and Whirlpool Jet Boats for their tireless efforts and support during this incident.

Police will not be releasing the name of the male at this time.