14-year-old boy drowns after canoe overturns in Newfoundland

Photo by Chris Ensing/Gander

A 14-year-old boy has drowned in Vardy’s Pound, Newfoundland after a canoe overturned this May Two-Four weekend.

Rescue crews were called in to the area shortly after the incident.

Two boys, one 14 and the other 16, were able to swim safely to shore and receive urgent medical care whereas Matthew Sargent was not so lucky.

Dwayne Freake, Matthew Sargent’s uncle, stated in a Facebook post that his nephew was not wearing a PFD (personal floatation device) or a life jacket when he fell in.

“There were life jackets available but for some reason neither of the boys chose to wear one,” wrote Dwayne Freake as he encouraged everyone to share the post with the children in their lives.

“Use Matthew’s death to substantiate the reason why adults are always preaching safety…tell them that it is because we love them and are trying to prevent this type of thing from ever happening.”

At the moment, it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the incident.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Roger Flynn has told CBC that they are working with medical examiners to come to a conclusion.

Are you unsure if you’re prepared for a safe boating or canoeing adventure? Refer to our list of very common PFD mistakes you might not know you’re making.