GRAND BEACH – Terry Fox Day took a tragic turn in as two children drowned at Grand Beach.
RCMP have confirmed that the victims are a 12-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.
The two children were in the water together and being supervised by the boy’s parents when one of the parents lost track of the kids due to the setting sun.
Both children were treated on scene, but couldn’t be saved and were never transported to hospital.
Grand Beach does not have lifeguards, but instead has beach safety officers.
Regional park superintendent for Sustainable Development Richard Romaniuk explains the difference.
“Their primary role is public education and emergency response. The beach safety officers patrol the beach by foot, they search for missing people, they’re our eyes on the beach on a daily basis looking for any hazards that may be present on the beach.”
Romaniuk says there used to be lifeguards at Grand Beach, but a report more than two decades ago said they were not providing lifeguard services, so they couldn’t call themselves that.
Regardless, the beach safety officers sprung right into action last night, immediately organizing and searching for the children.
“After a little while they gathered and then went into the water to do an arm-and-arm water search,” witness Darrell Flett explained to Global News. “At that point in time I knew it was not good news so I didn’t want to be around for it and left.”
The families and children are from Winnipeg.
An investigation into what happened is underway, but Mounties say it doesn’t appear to be suspicious and no charges are expected.