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The body of one of the five French tourists who fell into the icy waters of a Quebec lake on Tuesday during a snowmobile expedition was recovered on Friday morning.
“He was found more than two kilometers from the initial research points in the Grande Rivière outlet”, at the mouth of Lac Saint-Jean where the accident occurred, said Hugues Beaulieu, spokesperson for the press. word from the Sûreté du Québec.
“We cannot identify the victim at the moment,” he added.
The body was discovered more than two kilometers from where six snowmobiles were located, including four on Thursday, he said.
The group was made up of eight tourists from eastern France, three of whom survived minor injuries and a nervous shock. Physically unharmed, but “morally shocked”, they left Montreal Thursday evening and were expected at their home Friday, according to the French Consulate General in Quebec.
Their guide, a 42-year-old Montrealer, died Wednesday of his injuries. According to the latest cross-checks from local media, he backtracked Tuesday evening to help the three surviving tourists, who stayed behind the group. One of them fell into the water before being recovered by the other two snowmobilers.
The guide then left to catch up with the leading group of five snowmobilers, before falling into the water where he was picked up by the firefighters.
“If he hadn’t returned, he would have made it with the other three. But a guide will not let his world go, “testified for the Journal de Québec Charles Tremblay, owner of a grocery store where the three survivors took refuge, before raising the alarm.
For an as yet undetermined reason – presumably to take a shortcut to their final destination according to specialists – the group had branched off from the marked path to venture towards an “off-piste” area deemed to be dangerous. Located at the mouth of a river, east of this large lake 200 km north of Quebec, this area freezes less or not at all because of the currents.
As the day before, about thirty police officers, including a dozen divers, supported by important means like helicopters, drones or boats equipped with sonars, had to scour all the day of Friday the zone where the drama occurred.