Montreal firefighter drowning inquest digs into search

JOLIETTE — The coroner’s inquest into the drowning of Montreal firefighter Pierre Lacroix in 2021 looks Tuesday into the frantic search that unfolded after his boat capsized in the Lachine Rapids during a rescue attempt.

Lt. Sylvain Dominique, of the Montreal Fire Department, testified that despite considerable effort in the water, on shore and in the air, rescuers did not look under the capsized HammerHead boat in the early hours. after the accident.

Mr. Lacroix and three of his colleagues were trying to save two boaters in distress when the fireboat capsized in the waves of the St. Lawrence River on October 17, 2021. The other three firefighters survived.

Mr. Dominique, who worked at a command post from shore, said the capsized fireboat was located less than an hour after the accident. But he was stuck at the bottom of the river and could not be immediately turned around.

He says he ordered search parties to ignore the boat and focus instead on finding Mr Lacroix in open water, as he believed the firefighter was likely already dead if he was trapped below.

It was not until around 3 a.m., seven and a half hours after the accident, that a Montreal police underwater camera determined that Mr. Lacroix’s body was trapped under the capsized boat.


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