Ontario Man dies after boat capsizes in Haliburton Highlands

On June 22, 2019, shortly after 5 p.m., members of the Haliburton Highlands Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and emergency crews responded to a capsized boat on McCaslim Lake.

A small aluminum fishing boat was occupied by three friends who were out on the lake fishing. The vessel capsized and two of the occupants were able to utilize life jackets found floating on top of the water and safely returned to shore.

The third male disappeared under the surface. Efforts to locate this male were unsuccessful.

On June 23, 2019, OPP members from the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit attended McCaslim Lake and located the missing man. The deceased has been identified as Jeffrey Daniel St-Cyr, 36 years old from Oshawa, Ontario.

As a part of the investigation OPP members confirmed the capsized vessel had appropriate safety equipment on-board, however lifejackets were not worn by those involved.

For us at Fish’n Canada, our hearts sink in our chests whenever we read about a death on the water. Read our National Lifejacket Day – Is It Time for Change? blog for more about safety when boating

4 Replies to “Ontario Man dies after boat capsizes in Haliburton Highlands”

  1. Now it begins and all too soon! Morbid as this all appears, I will not pull my punches.


    This unnecessary loss of life should come as a warning. As we are all aware, the price of a human life far exceeds the cost of a life jacket. Yet, without wearing this vital piece of safety equipment the attached “Price Tag” is guaranteed to become your “Toe Tag”.


    Allow me to reiterate what I so profoundly stated in a May 16, 2019 blog. “We are all aware, federal law stipulates watercraft must carry life jackets for everyone on board so please, use a little common sense people !!”

    “Changing laws may be the moral thing to do in this instance but you can never legislate stupidity.”

    “It’s the same with seat belts and drunk driving. There is always someone, somewhere rolling the dice, believing nothing will come of their little brain cramp until a loved one is seriously injured or killed.”

    People constantly complain, left, right and centre concerning the over abundance of Federal laws, regulations and rules controlling just about everything in our lives. On the other hand, it seems citizens can’t get their fill and want more legislation shoved down their throats to ease their frustration when disaster strikes

    Can people not use simple logic rather than asking to be treated like infants? The government should not be your babysitter. Whining and crying may soothe your soul but God gave you a brain so for heaven’s sake, use it!

    On a May 17, 2019 article I further emphasized,
    “Change your thoughts! Change your Ideas! Change you bad habits! Change your illogical behavior! Every day should be National Life Jacket Day! The government can not legislate for stupidity or morally inept individuals, since so many people already ignore the laws that are on the books.

    We all know how seat belts save lives. Life Jackets also save lives. A “life” saving tool is worthless unless it is put to it’s intended use. Put the “Life” back in Life Jackets. Wear them, the next life they save might just be your own!

    One final question to all you malcontents who refuse to don the appropriate safety equipment. “Would you rather wear your “Conspicuously Colourful Life Jacket” or a “Mortician’s Fashionable Toe Tag”?

    Don’t take too long making your decision folks, your local Funeral Director is waiting patiently for your R.S.V.P. (meaning “Please respond” to require confirmation of an invitation.)

  2. Yeah, people are just dying to “Sailing” to!

    Quebec Death!

    A man in his forties has been reported missing after he fell into a lake near Gracefield, Que. Saturday night. Police said the man and a woman were sailing on a personal watercraft along Lake Cayamant when it capsized around 8 p.m.

    The woman was rescued by a nearby boat, but the man remains missing, Sgt. Stéphane Tremblay, a spokesperson with Sûreté du Québec, told Radio-Canada. Locals and firefighters searched for the man until 1 a.m. Sunday, and then continued later that morning.

    “We have the Sûreté du Québec’s marine patrol boats, as well as the Sûreté divers, who are on their way, to try to locate the man who is still missing,” Tremblay said in a French-language interview.

    Muskoka Death!

    Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after a man died on Lake Muskoka in Gravenhurst, Ont. Police said they received a call shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday to a public beach, and found three people had gone underwater after they were playing with a swimming toy.

    A woman and a child were rescued and taken to hospital, and are in stable condition. After two hours of searching, a 37- year old man was also pulled from the water. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful, police said.

    When and where will this ever end. Please, were your life jacket when out on the water. Your life depends on it.

  3. Since this issue pertaining to life jackets is so vitally important I am going to re-post my comment again!

    As I stated on a article titled, “Make life jackets the law for kids in boats, grieving mother says” dated May 16, 2019.

    If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes…..but I did!

    It happened when my wife Sharon and I were on our monthly fishing excursion to Port Dover Ontario on July 2, 2019. The day was sunny and warm and after a quick breakfast at a local eatery, we headed down to the pier. The water levels everywhere were exceedingly high, right up to dock level. Average Lake Erie temperature this time of year in the 60 degree range.

    Using common sense, we tied on our trusty “Pickerel Rigs” as per the locals. This gave us an excellent opportunity to check out the watercraft action coming out of the marina up river. Area resident boaters were eager to have the opportunity to experience what Mother Nature has given them. Unfortunately most all ignored what she can take away, your life and that of a family member.

    Dozens of boats of every description plied the waters, from large watercraft, some of which topped 20 to 22 ft or more, to small 12 ft. aluminum boats with the odd sailing vessel among the lot.

    What was most noticeable, except for four kayakers and the operator of a small inflatable dingy, absolutely NO ONE was wearing their life jackets.

    I yelled out to these foolish nincompoops, “Hey, where are you life jackets?” Most sarcastically replied, “right there” and pointed to the inside of their boat. Some just completely ignored me. In fact one larger boat had four teenage girls laying on their stomachs hanging over the bow of the boat without any life jackets. It was obvious to my wife and I, tempting fate was a priority on this day.

    As the boats made their way our to Lake Erie, it wasn’t too long before the weather took a turn for the worse. Black ominous clouds began to roll in. Soon after, as the the winds picked up, the heavens poured out a deluge of liquid fury. Everyone was suddenly at the mercy of Mother Nature.


    The Grim Reaper as you see, was smiling in anticipation of his next victim! He certainly is counting on everyone’s asinine qualities.

    Fortunately, there were no fatalities on this day. They were extremely lucky this time but there will be a next time!

    The point is, their local Funeral Director has been busy constructing several beautiful oak coffins as he himself is waiting for their arrival.

    So to all these Ladies and Gentlemen, please R.S.V.P as soon as possible. Funeral Service availability is becoming overly crowded as it has taken a “sudden death” turn due to recent incidents involving malcontents not wearing their life jackets and loosing their lives from a lack of common sense and an increase of irrational behavior.

    Yes, people are just dying to go boating!

  4. The value of a life jacket has never been so profound than in circumstances such as what we see in the latest C.B.C. article titled….

    “2 recovered after Rigolet boat capsizing not wearing life-jackets: RCMP
    -2 teenagers, wearing life-jackets, rescued when found sitting on capsized vessel

    Two people died after a boat capsized about 40 kilometres from Rigolet on the north coast of Labrador.

    One body was found at the scene after the incident on Tuesday around 9 p.m. As of 5:15 a.m Wednesday, the body of a 27-year-old woman was recovered and all search efforts had ceased, said Christa-Lee Cole, a search and rescue coordinator with the Canadian Coast Guard in St. John’s.

    Neither of the deceased were wearing a life-jacket, the RCMP said Wednesday afternoon.

    Two other people were also onboard the vessel and were found sitting on the capsized 18-foot, aluminum boat wearing life-jackets. The Canadian Coast Guard initially referred to them as children, but in a media release issued Wednesday afternoon, the RCMP said they are teenagers.

    They were taken to a local cabin to warm up and and later brought to the Rigolet Clinic where they were treated and released, according to police.

    “Obviously it was not a happy ending for everyone, but it could have been so much worse,” she told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning, audibly emotional.

    Around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, a call from the RCMP came in to the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax about a small vessel taking on water near West Pompey Island and Long Point in Groswater Bay, said a statement from a JRCC spokesperson. Two search and rescue boats were tasked to the area.

    Cole said by early Wednesday, there were also ships from the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada — whose teams volunteered to help out.

    A Griffon helicopter from 5 Wing Goose Bay, a Cormorant helicopter from Canadian Forces Base in Gander and a Hercules plane from the CFB Greenwood, in Nova Scotia, searched the area from above.

    “I would like to recognize the excellent work done by the ground [search and rescue team] in Rigolet, as well,” she said.

    Cole said it was an emotional operation for everyone involved.

    ‘Devastating’ to community
    Rigolet is part of Nunatsiavut, and the community of about 300 people is tightly connected to all others along the north coast and in greater Labrador.

    “As the devastating news settles in the community and throughout Nunatsiavut and Labrador, we send thoughts and prayers to all those affected by this tremendous loss,” Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe said in a written statement.

    He also lauded the actions of those who jumped into action when the emergency call came in.

    “This could have been even more tragic if not for the prompt action of those who responded. I hope they find comfort in knowing that they did everything they could during what must have been a very trying time,” Lampe said.

    Please people, wear your life jackets when out on the water.

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