Staff swim party ends trag­i­cally at Gul­liver’s Lake in Flam­bor­ough

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MATTHEW VAN DONGEN AND TEVIAH MORO

A young man was flown to hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter he was pulled without vi­tal signs from Gul­liver’s Lake in Flam­bor­ough Tues­day.

“He’s in se­ri­ous con­di­tion. It’s not good,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Hast­ings, shortly af­ter an air am­bu­lance left the pri­vate va­ca­tion park on Sa­fari road. Po­lice later said the man was re­sus­ci­tated, but re­mained in crit­i­cal con­di­tion at Hamil­ton Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

Hast­ings said the man, be­lieved to be in his early 20s, was swim­ming with a group of friends at the quarry-turned-lake late in the af­ter­noon. Park staff said the group was part of an of­fice party out­ing from a Keg Steak­house restau­rant in the GTA.

Ob­servers on shore said the man was seen swim­ming af­ter friends on an in­flat­able mat about 3 p.m. At some point, mem­bers of the group re­al­ized the man was no longer vis­i­ble, spurring a fran­tic search.

Some of the man’s co-work­ers found him un­der wa­ter and pulled him ashore.

Fire­fight­ers re­sponded to re­ports of a per­son pulled from the wa­ter without vi­tal signs about 3:22 p.m., said fire in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Steve McCarthur.

An off-duty nurse, who didn’t want to give her name, said she ran over to of­fer aid. She said the man was un­der wa­ter “for what seemed like a long time,” but praised by­standers for per­form­ing CPR un­til paramedics ar­rived.

Paramedics also gave them a shout-out on Twit­ter.

“That’s the big­gest thing you can do to buy some­one time un­til we ar­rive,” said su­per­in­ten­dent Dan Starr.

Many vis­i­tors re­mained un­aware of the ac­ci­dent and con­tin­ued swim­ming, just a few-dozen me­tres away. Cry­ing co-work­ers hugged as they awaited news near the lake.

They de­clined to com­ment.

JOHN RENNISON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

An air am­bu­lance lifts off from a park mid-af­ter­noon Tues­day, af­ter a swim­mer was pulled from the wa­ter with no vi­tal signs by fel­low work­ers at a staff party. They are cred­ited with per­form­ing CPR un­til paramedics ar­rived.

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