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Body of missing man found after canoes capsize in northwestern Ontario

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The body of a 25-year-old American man has been found after two canoes capsized in northwestern Ontario last week, provincial police say.

Grant Smith, 25, was found deceased after the canoe he was in with five other people capsized in northwestern Ontario on June 5. (Facebook)

Five people were found after the boats overturned on Saganagons Lake in Quetico Provincial Park, located about 163 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, on June 5.

Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded to the call and spent several days searching for the missing man from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The body of Grant Smith was located by the OPP underwater search and recovery unit just before 4 p.m. June 9, police said.

"There were three canoes travelling with two individuals in each canoe," OPP spokesperson Autumn Eadie told CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca in an email on Monday afternoon.

"Three individuals were wearing lifejackets during this incident. The deceased individual was not." 

Smith was canoeing with his father and two brothers when the canoes capsized "in an unexpected fast-moving storm," sources said.

His dad and brothers were able to get to shore.

Grant Smith, 25, of Indianapolis, Indiana was found deceased after the canoe he was in with five other people capsized on a lake in northwestern Ontario on June 5, 2024. (Facebook)

"First of all, my family and I would like to say thank you to everyone for the outpouring support and prayers. We will continue to need them as we move forward," his father Tony said in a social media post Monday morning.

"We now begin the process of bringing him home. We asked for your continued support and prayers as we navigate this path."

An online fundraiser with a goal to raise $10,000 to help the family raised nearly $19,000 in two days.

A section of the park that was closed for the investigation has been reopened.

The eastern portion of Saganagons Lake in Quetico Provincial Park was closed June 6, 2024 after a canoe carrying six people capsized and one man, 25, went missing.

The park reported "more windy weather" on social media June 6 and said the water is "still relatively cold," advising visitors to wear a lifejacket and paddle to their skill and comfort level.

Correction

On Friday, Ontario Provincial Police said "a canoe capsized with six individuals on board," in the initial news release and in an update on Monday "the correct number of canoes capsized was two." OPP clarified there were three canoes with two people in each one, only two boats capsized. The article above has been corrected to reflect the new information.

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