The body of one of the two firefighters missing since Monday, in the Saint-Urbain sector, was found Wednesday morning in the Gouffre River, not far from Baie-Saint-Paul. The Sûreté du Québec will continue its search to find the second man.
It was shortly before 10 a.m. that the Sûreté du Québec helicopter “located a body in the Saint-Urbain sector,” Sergeant Béatrice Dorsainville said in a statement. “In all likelihood, it could be one of two people missing in the same area since last Monday. However, the identification will have to be made to the satisfaction of the coroner,” she said.
Nevertheless, the search will “continue to locate the second person still reported missing”, adds the sergeant. “We are continuing our investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding this event and are working closely with various partners, including the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST),” insists. -She.
According to our information, the discovery was made near Chemin Saint-Laurent. We still don’t know who it is. Around 2 p.m. Monday, Christopher Lavoie, 24, and his colleague Régis Lavoie, 55, were swept away while trying to help residents struggling with flooding in Saint-Urbain, a small community located half an hour north of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Note that the two men are not related. Christopher’s father, Davy Lavoie, strongly denounced Tuesday that “people sent” his son “into a river, in a rowboat, when he couldn’t even swim.”
Christopher Lavoie had been a volunteer firefighter for a year and a half, says his father. Régis Lavoie, he had been for twenty years, was able to confirm La Presse. “He loved that job. […] I understand my son’s adrenaline, but how much was he influenced in these decisions? Who is going to take responsibility for all this? “, asked Davy Lavoie in particular.
For André Bourassa, acting vice-president of the Quebec Federation of Fire Safety Responders, this is another “loss” for Quebec firefighters. “Our thoughts are obviously with the families. Nobody becomes a firefighter in order to lose his life. Rather, we want to do everything to help others, ”he regrets on the phone.
“We have lost several firefighters in the last year and a half, after Montreal, Quebec, Lac-Saint-Jean and now Charlevoix. It’s really unfortunate,” continues Mr. Bourassa.
He says his group will “allow time for the investigation to complete” before making further comments, or recommendations. “What is undeniable, that said, is that there will be lessons to be learned from all of this,” he stresses.
Other observers clearly mentioned on Wednesday the lack of training of firefighters in the event of major floods. In a press briefing, Prime Minister François Legault did not rule out reviewing the training of firefighters. “We have to ask ourselves questions and we will do the necessary analyses,” he briefly explained, without going any further.
The search to find the two firefighters had been started on Monday by the SQ, with the support of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). About twenty patrollers on foot and in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), a helicopter, boats, a drone and divers were also deployed by the police force for this purpose, indicated Béatrice d’Orsainville.
These excavations will therefore continue in the next few hours, even the next few days, in order to find the body of the second firefighter still missing. Baie-Saint-Paul was cut in half following a historic flood on Monday. Nearly 1,000 people found themselves isolated. In the afternoon, Tuesday, the Leclerc bridge was however reopened to traffic, so that the city is no longer split in two.