OPP urge water safety after one tragedy and one rescue in Turkey Point, Ont.
OPP are reminding people of water safety after two people were rescued from Lake Erie at Turkey Point this past weekend - just one week after a young boy drowned in the same area.
The family of eight-year-old Mustapha Adam has begun a crowd-funding campaign to start an education fund for children to take extra-curricular activities such as swimming lessons and life-saving skills, along with an education fund for children in need.
“Mustapha had high empathy,” said the boy’s cousin, Daud Abdulrahman, who launched the campaign.
Mustapha disappeared off Turkey Point on June 5. His body was discovered after an extensive search by the OPP Marine Unit. He drowned after abandoning a floating raft that had drifted far from shore and attempting to swim back.
His uncle said the family wants to honour the fact that, even at a tender age, the boy was always thinking about the needs of others.
“He would ask questions to his parents such as, ‘Why are people poor? Why can’t people have food?' So the idea of people suffering was really something that was in Mustapha’s mind every day.”
The campaign comes after Norfolk OPP Marine Unit officers rescued two individuals off Turkey Point this past weekend.
According to police they were suffering from hypothermia after being in the water for five hours after they fell from their personal watercraft.
Acting OPP Sgt. Ed Sanchuk says they planned ahead, and that resulted in their lives being saved.
“I can tell you without a doubt that lifejackets saved their lives, along with a phone call from a concerned family member. So we’re asking people that may be heading out into the water to please have a plan in place. Always put your safety as a priority. If you are traveling for the day have all necessary safety equipment - a charged cell phone - and make sure you keep it on your person. In this case here there was a cell phone, but it was on the personal watercraft that drifted away.”
Sanchuk said there are points along the lake line in Norfolk County where the undertow is significant. That includes popular beaches like those in Port Dover, Long Point and Turkey Point
He also said the further out from shore, the colder the water becomes, “It’s very deceiving.”
Sanchuk adds that it’s important to let people know when you’re heading out onto the water, and when you’re expected back, so they know to call for help if you don’t return.