Windsor Star

BODY PULLED FROM LAKE

OPP officers investigat­e a possible drowning at Happy Snapper Marina in Leamington on Monday after the body of an elderly male boater was pulled from Lake Erie.

- DAN TAEKEMA dtaekema@postmedia.com

Ontario Provincial Police are investigat­ing after a body was pulled from the water at the Happy Snapper Marina near Leamington.

OPP Const. Jim Root said police responded to calls of a body found floating near a dock on Bevel Line around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

No other informatio­n about the victim has been released pending notificati­on of next of kin, but Jody Peters, a staff member at the marina, said it was an “older man” who kept a boat there.

“He was a nice man. He always took time to speak to each and every one of us who worked at the marina,” she said, adding that she’s spoken with other boaters who are in shock as well as co-workers who are “really upset” by the news.

Peters said it was a normal day that started out slow, until a boater came in and told her there was a body in the water.

After she went and saw it for herself, Peters said she was walking back to the main building to call police when emergency vehicles started to arrive.

“The next thing I know an ambulance, fire trucks and cop cars come flying in,” she said.

According to Peters, the Happy Snapper, whose sign features a friendly looking turtle, is owned and operated by the Caldwell First Nation. It’s located on a quiet waterway just off of Lake Erie and is popular with boaters and fishermen buying bait. “All my boaters are really good to me and I consider them like family because I’m with them all spring and summer,” said Peters.

The possible drowning marks the third in a series of deaths in and around Lake Erie in the past week.

Tracy Quinlan, a 45-year-old woman from Niagara, went underwater while swimming near Selkirk on Thursday and later died in hospital, according to police.

In another incident, emergency crews rushed to Long Point provincial park on Saturday to search for a 19-year-old man from Hamilton. His body was later found by two men walking the beach and he was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner.

Peters said she was still in shock and pleaded with others planning to go out on the water to be smart and safe.

Police say foul play is not suspected and ask anyone with informatio­n about what happened to call the OPP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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DAN JANISSE

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