“My son did not come back”: Mississauga teenager drowns in Muskoka


BARRIE, ONT. – A family camping trip to Muskoka this weekend ended in tragedy.

The family of 18-year-old Noel Caoile Jr. said the Mississauga, Ont. A teenager drowned while swimming in the Muskoka River on Saturday night.

“We called for help because my brother was screaming, help me, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” said Caoile Jr.’s brother Neil.

The family told CTV News that Noel Jr. started struggling in the water and screaming for help shortly after 6 p.m.

“There was this guy who tried to canoe,” said Neil. “I don’t know where my brother went. He just fell.”

Neil said Noel was not visible on the surface because of the cloudy water.

According to the OPP, officers responded to reports of a swimmer in distress on the south arm of the Muskoka River off Golden Beach Road around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Police and other teams began searching for the 18-year-old, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

“They were unable to locate the remains of the male group after dark,” the officer said. Adrian Woods of the OPP Maritime Unit.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, police said divers recovered the body.

On Monday afternoon, provincial police confirmed that the identity of the body found was Noel Caoile Jr.

“My son did not come back,” Noel Caoile Sr. said on Sunday.

This drowning is the latest in a tragic history of events that took place in early summer 2021.

Drowning-related deaths have been reported so far this year in Orillia, Port Sydney, Georgian Bay Township and Wasaga Beach.

“This is heartbreaking news,” said Shannon Scully-Pratt, representative of the Canadian Red Cross swimming and water safety program. “Every drowning we hear about is heartbreaking, and no one ever suspects he’s going to be a drowning victim.”

According to the Lifesaving Society, more than 400 Canadians die each year in preventable water incidents.

Scully-Pratt noted that it is important to know the water before entering it.

“My first suggestion is to always speak with the locals. They are the ones who know the waterways best, ”said Scully-Pratt. “They understand when there are turnovers, when there are high winds, when there are drop points. If some areas of water can be more dangerous than others, and things have changed during the winter season because you often have a lot of logs and underwater movement going on, it can be very dangerous. , especially if you dive or jump in water. “

The Caoile family said they were staying at Whispering Pines Campground in Santa Claus Village, across from where they said Noel was swimming.

CTV News has contacted Santa’s Village regarding the incident and wharf safety precautions, and responded with a written statement.

“There was a circular buoy available at the wharf. We have life jackets available for guests on request,” said Jaime Watson of Santa’s Village, adding, “Our hearts go out to the family at this very difficult time.”

The Caoile family said they wished there were more signs on the dock warning swimmers of the river’s potential dangers.

The family created a GoFundMe on behalf of Noel Jr. to help cover funeral costs.


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