STRATFORD, P.E.I. - The RCMP helped bring closure to a grieving family on Thursday.
Stratford RCMP, assisted by members of the New Brunswick RCMP underwater recover team, recovered the body of a 42-year-old Stratford man who jumped from the Hillsborough Bridge on Christmas Day.
The body was located by divers after two previous attempts had been unsuccessful due to weather and tidal current conditions.
Staff Sgt. Shane Hubley kept in contact with the family throughout the search and said Friday that the father of the 42-year-old man was extremely supportive of the RCMP’s efforts.
“On one side he and the family wanted to recover their loved one but, on the other side, he was adamant that we put nobody else at risk in our search efforts,’’ Hubley said.
“When I spoke with (the father on Thursday) following our recovery he was extremely relieved and extremely grateful. It’s a horrible, horrible thing, it really is, especially at this time of year. It’s nice for us as a policing organization to be able to give closure to the family because so often in circumstances like this there isn’t a recovery and there is that kind of gap that never gets closed and the family has to learn to deal with that.’’
"It’s nice for us as a policing organization to be able to give closure to the family because so often in circumstances like this there isn’t a recovery and there is that kind of gap that never gets closed and the family has to learn to deal with that.’’
-RCMP Staff Sgt. Shane Hubley
The community pulled together to aid in the search.
The RCMP received help from local residents using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to narrow the search area and provide a precise location for divers’ efforts.
Hubley said initially the search involved the water and the surrounding shorelines.
“Following the initial search, once we get to the point that we’re confident that it’s a recovery rather than a rescue then we contact our dive team. They are specially trained. They are an underwater recovery team (so) they come and do an assessment.’’
In this case, the recovery team arrived Dec. 27 and found weather, wind, ice and tidal conditions were simply too dangerous to continue.
“So, then we go into a holding pattern while we’re waiting for the weather to improve, the ice to become safer. It either has to get strong enough to support them or it has to dissipate to the point where we can get a boat in.’’
In the meantime, the RCMP used the ROV belonging to a civilian to help narrow the search. No one gave up.
“When divers returned (on Jan. 10) we knew specifically where they should be concentrating on so they came back . . . and conducted some dives and were unsuccessful and then they followed up with a second set of dives (Thursday) and were successful.’’
The RCMP has not released the name of the victim.