MATTAWA — (UPDATE: Sunday, July 23, 6:35 p.m.): An eight-day police search has resulted in the discovery of the body of a missing Mattawa swimmer from the Ottawa River.
On July 22 at 11:24 a.m., OPP in Mattawa received a call from BAYSAR Search and Rescue, a volunteer aviation search team. They advised police that they had observed what they believed to be a person floating in the Ottawa River. A short time later, the OPP received a second call that a boater had located a body floating in the Ottawa River approximately two kilometres east of Mattawa.
The North Bay OPP Marine Unit attended the scene and recovered the body from the river.
The body has been identified as that of Arthur Lavoie, who went missing while swimming on July 15 in the Ottawa River.
UPDATE: Police locate body of Mattawa swimmer swept away in Ottawa River
A post mortem examination has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 25 in Sudbury.
Police began their search for the man on Saturday, July 15 and sought help from the public on Friday, July 21, asking the public to keep an eye out for the clothing that the victim was wearing at the time he was last seen. At that time, Lavoie was presumed drowned in the Ottawa River near Mattawa.
As a result of a missing swimmer report on July 15, members of the Mattawa OPP continued their search for a male who is now presumed drowned. The missing male has been identified as Arthur Lavoie, 40, of Mattawa. He was last seen wearing red shorts, a red T-shirt and a red bandana near the train bridge that crosses over the Ottawa River.
Members of the Mattawa Detachment, the OPP North Bay Detachment Marine Unit, the OPP North East Region Snowmobile ATV Vessel Enforcement Unit (SAVE), the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU), OPP Aviation Services Helicopter, OPP Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry searched the area extensively. The area being searched posed many challenges to the search team due to treacherous conditions in the water.