by Jerome Lessard and Ernst Kuglin / Trentonian / Sun Media
TRENTON — An Ottawa scuba diver drowned in the Trent River Tuesday, despite dramatic rescue attempts.
The Ministry of Labour is investigating the death of the diver following the accident on Dam 1 of the waterway, in Trenton’s north end.
The name of the deceased diver has not been released.
According to Ministry of Labour spokesman Bruce Skeaff, the diver was working for ODS Marine of Ottawa.
Initial reports indicated the diver became trapped while removing logs at Dam 1 on the Trent River.
Skeaff said the diver became stuck while in four metres of water. He said dive inspectors were sent to the scene to investigate the incident.
At some point, said Skeaff, the man was being supplied with air from the surface.
According to the official report of the incident, the diver was pronounced dead at Trenton Memorial Hospital at approximately 11:30 a.m.
According to the official report of the incident supplied by Skeaff, the diver was conducting a video inspection of the dam structure to determine the extent of future repairs. during the course of the inspection of a hole in the structure, the diver became pinned to the wall of the dam as a result of upstream water pressure/force from the hole.
Fellow dive team members called for help at about 9:20 a.m. when the diver did not surface.
At that point, reports to rescue officials said, he’d been down for five minutes without contact from the surface. It would be more than two hours before his body was recovered and resuscitation efforts would be called off.
Quinte West fire department dive team members and emergency medical services personnel pulled the trapped diver out of the water after an underwater camera was used to locate the man.
A CFB Trenton search and rescue helicopter was launched to aid in the search.
Trent Severn Waterway staff reduced the water flow and the level of the water behind the dam so rescue personnel could reach the man.
Ministry of Labour officials are investigating the fatal mishap.
According to the report, the dam is “owned” by Public Works and Government Services Canada and is operated by the Trent Severn Waterway.