Body of nine-year-old Alex Ottley recovered from Lake Erie
|Toronto Star 25 Mar 2020 at 12:50|
HAMILTON—More than a month after nine-year-old Alex Ottley was swept into the frigid waters of Lake Erie in Nanticoke, his body has been recovered.
Ontario Provincial Police were called around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday after a resident saw something in the lake, said Const. Rod LeClair.
An OPP marine unit member found Ottley’s body in the water about 40 metres from the shoreline, east of where he had been pulled under the water Feb. 15.
The nine-year-old was with his 10-year-old sister and an eight-year-old friend at Peacock Point around 4:30 p.m. that day. OPP say they were on an ice shelf when a wave swept the two boys into the water.
Family has described Ottley as a hero who tried to rescue his friend.
Ottley’s sister ran for help, flagging down a passing car. A man and woman were able to pull the eight-year-old to safety but Ottley never resurfaced.
OPP led an 11-day search in the area including, underwater search teams and helicopters, but did not find the boy until now.
Residents helped to scour the shoreline and a volunteer group from Manitoba — Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART) — also searched unsuccessfully.
In late February, Ottley’s grandfather Troy Gowans wrote a letter published in The Sachem thanking supporters and rescuers.
He also thanked his granddaughter, Alex’s 10-year-old sister, Melody, who ran to get help.
“She’s a hero and we are thankful to her for being there and not letting this turn into a much worse tragedy,” he wrote.
Alex too was a hero.
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“(He) went in after his friend without a thought of any danger,” Gowans wrote. “He will always live in our minds as exactly that: a hero.”