A summer school trip to a Canadian park ended in tragedy as a 15-year-old Guyanese-born student, Jeremiah Perry, drowned.
Perry’s body was recovered from the lake of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada on Wednesday.
Canadian media house CablePulse 24 (CP24) reported that around 8 pm on Tuesday, Perry was swimming in the Big Trout Lake. He went under and did not resurface. His body was not discovered until 3.25 pm the next day.
Perry and his brother were among a group of 33 students from the C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute and Westview Centennial Secondary School that had travelled to the park for an education and leadership programme. They were accompanied by six adults.
According to another news outlet, CBC News, Perry’s brother was camping in a separate group at the time of the tragedy, but was one of the first to be picked up and airlifted from the interior of the park.
The trip, which began on Sunday and was initially scheduled to end today, was cancelled, and students and their supervisors were transported from the park.
While CP24 reported representative of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Ryan Bird as stating that students are subjected to swim tests before being allowed on such activities, the news outlet also reported Perry’s father Joshua Anderson as saying that neither of his sons could swim.
Anderson had also said that he was not concerned about safety prior to their departure as they expected measures to be in place to ensure such.
“That was the least on our minds thinking about the safety because we know the school is supposed to have proper supervision, proper protocol, everything in place,” he was quoted as saying.
TDSB Director John Malloy related that the summer education programmes have had an “excellent track record” and stated that all staff involved were committed to reviewing every aspect of the tragedy to assure themselves and the communities of their safety procedures.
He, however, noted that no conclusions would be drawn until investigations were completed by the Ontario Provincial Police.