Ontario Provincial Police say the search for a nine-year-old boy who fell through the ice on Lake Erie is now a recovery operation.
Haldimand County OPP say they were called to the area of Peacock Point on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. following reports of two children who had fallen into the lake.
The police say two boys — an eight-year-old and nine-year-old — were on the ice edge when a wave swept them into the water.
A 10-year-old girl with the boys ran to get help.
She flagged down a vehicle and a man and a woman were able to rescue the eight-year-old boy, but police say the other boy did not resurface.
The OPP say they’ve received assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, but dangerous conditions led them to stop the search efforts late Saturday, and at that point, the search became a recovery mission.
Provincial police say they returned to the scene early Sunday but conditions were too dangerous to enter the water. The OPP is using a helicopter to search the area.
#HaldimandOPP reporting search and recovery efforts suspended for the day and will resume Monday morning Feb 17th. Updates will continue to be provided as information becomes available.^rl pic.twitter.com/FA9zTXdmr0
— OPP West Region (@OPP_WR) February 16, 2020
The OPP is urging caution for outdoor enthusiasts against walking or driving snowmobiles on ice along the shores of Lake Simcoe and cottage country.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says the flux in temperatures means lake surfaces are simply not safe.
“Lake Simcoe is typically very active with enthusiasts, snowmobiles, ice fisherman, recreational activities on this weekend and many weekends throughout the winter,” he said adding that those playing near the lake should take precautions, such as wearing warm clothing in bright colors to prevent hypothermia and to be more easily seen by others.
Meanwhile, Orillia OPP say underwater divers in Lake Simcoe have recovered the body of a snowmobiler who went through the ice Sunday morning. Another snowmobiler was rescued by firefighters.
Note: This article previously reported a young boy and girl had fallen into the water. Police later said it was two boys and the story has been edited to reflect the correction.