Skip to content

Two Sault youths die in canoe accident

Two young girls from Sault Ste. Marie have died after a tragic weekend canoeing mishap on Lake Huron. Erica Auclair, 11, of Blake Street and Meghan Mitchell, 11, of Franklin Street were among nine people involved in the Saturday-morning accident.
0
opp

Two young girls from Sault Ste. Marie have died after a tragic weekend canoeing mishap on Lake Huron.

Erica Auclair, 11, of Blake Street and Meghan Mitchell, 11, of Franklin Street were among nine people involved in the Saturday-morning accident.

The group had set out for a canoe adventure from McDougall United Church Camp, located about 80 kilometres east of Sault Ste. Marie in Thessalon.

Media reports indicate that the facility was rented to a Girl Guides of Canada group from the Sault, and that camp equipment was used for the trip.

When the canoeists failed to return at the expected time, a search was initiated.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located and flew Auclair and Mitchell to the Sault Area Hospital.

There, the two succumbed to hypothermia yesterday.

The others involved were all treated and released from hospital.

The investigation continues.

Two young people are in critical condition at Sault Area Hospital after their canoe overturned in 15-knot winds yesterday near Gooseberry Island on the north shore of Lake Huron.

Police report that on Saturday morning, three canoes with nine persons aboard set out from Camp McDougall around 10:30 a.m. on a trip to Gooseberry Island.

One canoe capsized just south of the island and its occupants were picked up by a second canoe.

The group was then blown off course by 15-knot winds and was reported missing by the camp staff when it failed to return at noon.

Police were contacted and the OPP marine unit located one of the canoes with five persons north of Thessalon Island approximately seven kilometers from their original sailing plan.

The OPP contacted RCC Trenton Search and Rescue, who in turn contacted the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary unit stationed at Richards Landing and the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a helicopter from Traverse City.

A second group of four persons was located floating in their life jackets by the U.S. helicopter, which had a diver jump from the aircraft and render assistance to the people in the water.

Two people were taken aboard the OPP vessel and two were flown by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter to hospital in the Sault.

One of the aluminum canoes is still missing and police are asking anyone who finds it to contact them at 1-888-310-1122.