Montreal fire chief Richard Liebman confirmed Monday morning that search and rescue teams had found a missing firefighter in the St. Lawrence River among boat wrecks.

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A Montreal Fire Department (SSIM) firefighter went underwater on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal on Sunday while rescuing the occupants of a small boat in distress.

The crew used a camera to confirm that the firefighter was trapped under the boat.


Liebmann said his colleague’s recovery would be very difficult due to the strong currents in Lachin Rapids. “It is very dangerous to send divers in fast flowing waters,” he said.

Several emergency services were mobilized before dawn to try to locate the firefighter. Teams from the La Prairie, Longueil, Varennes and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu fire departments were working alongside their Montreal counterparts as water patrol officers of the Montreal Police Department (SPVM).

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In addition, search and rescue teams of the Canadian Armed Forces assisted in the search.

During the day, helicopters were also to be searched over the river and shoreline.

A rescue boat capsized while the crew were assisting a boat in distress. A firefighter went underwater, and has since been seen by a camera trapped under the wreck of an underwater boat.

A boat carrying four Montreal firefighters went to the Lachine Rapids sector in the Lasalle borough to rescue two people on board another boat in distress, according to information transmitted overnight by Sorte du Québec (SQ). Sunday at 7:10 pm.

Both the people were rescued, but due to some reason the boat of the firefighters capsized.

“So the people they rescued went into the water with the firefighters,” said Longueil Fire Division chief Stephen DiFrusia on Sunday night. “But now, except for one firefighter, all those people are accounted for.”

Three of them were rescued and taken to the hospital, as were the two victims.

–With files from the Canadian Press.