UPDATED: Commendable act but sad loss in Cape St. George

Gary Kean gkean@thewesternstar.com
Published on August 26, 2014

Sadness in Cape St. George today as a community mourns the loss of a young man who died on Monday while trying to rescue his daughter.

Mayor Peter Fenwick said this almost affects everyone in their small town due to people being related and those that aren’t know members of the family personally.

He said it was his understanding that the 36-year-old man who drowned was trying to help his teenage daughter, who was in distress in the water.

Fenwick said he heard the man was trying to reach in to try and haul her out of the water when he went in himself. A second man ended up pulling the young girl in to safety but unfortunately wasn’t able to get to the father in time.

“It’s really a terrible tragedy when you consider the fact the he was trying to save his daughter’s life when he lost his own. It was very commendable and his loss is really sad,” Fenwick said.

He said the man was in the process of renovating a house and that he has a wife and at least two daughters, including the daughter he was trying to rescue.

Fenwick said the area in which the teenage girl was swimming is located in Cape St. George near a cove in St. George’s Bay. He said the winds on Monday made the bay “choppy” and there is often an undertow in that area when the waves are high.

While he said there is some danger at the location, there are very few people in Cape St. George who hadn’t swum there at some time during their life.  

Fenwick said in addition to the Cape St. George Ambulance responding to the drowning, the Cape St. George Volunteer Fire Department and their auxiliary vehicle also responded.

The RCMP said Tuesday afternoon that the dead man’s identification was still not being released.


(Earlier story)

A 36-year-old man has drowned after he tried to assist his daughter, who was in distress while swimming off Cape St. George Monday afternoon.

According to the Bay St. George detachment of the RCMP Tuesday morning, police were notified of the incident at 4:35 p.m. after the man had been taken to Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville.

The RCMP said the man, who was from the Cape St. George area, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A second man — also from the local area — managed to successfully help the girl, believed to be in her early teens, out of the water.

The RCMP said Tuesday morning it has yet to discuss releasing the dead man’s identification with his next of kin.