Firefighter dies on submerged boat after falling into St. Lawrence River

Dies trapped underwater

A Montreal firefighter has died after falling into the St. Lawrence River during a rescue mission Sunday night.

Mayor Valérie Plante this morning offered her condolences to the family and colleagues of the firefighter, who apparently became trapped on a rescue craft after it capsized and sunk.

Montreal's fire chief, Richard Liebmann, says a camera was used this morning to confirm that the firefighter appeared to be on the submerged boat beneath the Lachine rapids.

Neighbouring fire departments joined in the search earlier this morning, along with the Montreal police department's nautical unit.

Quebec provincial police said a vessel carrying four Montreal firefighters was dispatched at about 7:10 p.m. Sunday to rescue two occupants of a boat that was in trouble in the area of the rapids, in the southwestern Montreal borough of LaSalle.

The boaters in distress were saved, but for an unknown reason the fire department rescue boat then capsized.

Three of the firefighters were rescued and taken to hospital, as were the two boaters who had initially been rescued, but the fourth firefighter could not immediately be found.

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