Author Topic: 'Everybody absolutely adored him': Friend mourns lake death of Ottawa man  (Read 514 times)

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'Everybody absolutely adored him': Friend mourns lake death of Ottawa man

The friend of a man who died after jumping into a lake in Val-des-Monts has identified him as Zac Mitchell of Ottawa. Kymberley Gauvreau, 19, said she and six other friends including Mitchell were having a get-together at her boyfriend’s cottage Friday night when the tragedy occurred. “We go there every weekend and everyone was […]

The friend of a man who died after jumping into a lake in Val-des-Monts has identified him as Zac Mitchell of Ottawa.


Kymberley Gauvreau, 19, said she and six other friends including Mitchell were having a get-together at her boyfriend’s cottage Friday night when the tragedy occurred.


“We go there every weekend and everyone was having casual drinks,” Gauvreau said. “Then around 11 p.m., they wanted to go swimming.”


The cottage, which sits on the shores of Lac St. Pierre, has a 15-foot-high deck that Mitchell had jumped off several times before without incident, Gauvreau said.


“He jumped from there and he went in the water. While he was underwater we thought he was swimming back to the shore and he never came back up.”


About one or two minutes after, everyone realized Mitchell hadn’t resurfaced, Gauvreau said. “There were seven of us – we all jumped in the lake and we started looking for him.”


Gauvreau said she then called 911 and firefighters arrived shortly after, followed by police officers, all of whom were unsuccessful at rescuing Mitchell. 


The crews of emergency responders called off the rescue search at around 3:30 a.m. Saturday and awaited a dive team to arrive, Gauvreau said. The dive team from the Sûreté du Québec arrived around 11:30 a.m. and Mitchell’s body was recovered around 11:55 a.m.


Mitchell was good friends with her boyfriend, said Gauvreau, adding that she’d known him for about two years.


“He was such an amazing person,” Gauvreau said. “He loved everybody and everybody absolutely adored him. It’s just so surreal that this is happening.”


The 21-year-old was originally from Edmundston, N.B., but moved to Ottawa with his mother when he was younger. He was a former student at Algonquin College, Gauvreau said. Mitchell was at the time working in construction with some friends, she added.


“He was such a big part of every single one of us.” 


The circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation by MRC des Collines police.


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