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Bowmanville man dies in firefighter training exercise in icy Saugeen River

Jenna McNamee posted a photo of herself and her boyfriend, Adam Brunt, on Twitter. SOURCE: Twitter/@corenaturopath

A 30-year-old man from Bowmanville, who was training to become a firefighter, died after being trapped under ice in the Saugeen River on Sunday.

Emergency crews in Hanover, Ont., located in Bruce Country, were called to the scene around 1 p.m.

Police said Adam Brunt was submerged under the ice for about 15 minutes after he got caught in a strong current, police said.

Paramedics rushed him to hospital, where he later died.

Brunt was taking part in a training exercise to get his ice and water rescue certification.

In an emailed statement, Meghan Ney, a spokesperson at Durham College said Brunt was enrolled in the pre-service firefighter program.

According to sources, the exercise was being conducted by Herschel Rescue, a private service in Newmarket.

“We understand that Adam was participating in a training exercise that was being conducted by a private firm from Newmarket. That firm has no affiliation to Durham College,” Ney said.

At the time of the incident, there was an instructor present as well as 11 other students.

Hanover police told CityNews the instructor is the owner of the private company.

“#RIPAdam My sweet boyfriend and soul mate. You are already so dearly missed,” Jenna McNamee, Brunt’s girlfriend, posted on Twitter on Sunday night.

“We never in a million years expected this to happen. We are in shock. And the love of my life is gone.”

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and will support our students, staff and faculty through this upsetting time,” Ney said.

A post-mortem on Brunt is scheduled on Monday in London.

With files from Natalie Duddridge and The Canadian Press