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London police recover body of Simcoe man who went missing after his canoe tipped in Westminster Ponds

By Dan Brown, Hank Daniszewski, The London Free Press

(Facebook photo)

(Facebook photo)

A Simcoe man who died in Westminster Ponds after a canoe tipped was studying to be a mechanic and enjoyed racing, a co-worker said.

London police said the body of the missing canoeist was found Monday just before 2 p.m. Police and firefighters began searching the north pond in the south London natural area after one of three people in a canoe that overturned early Sunday didn’t make it to shore.

Police said the family of the 19-year-man was notified, but they did not release his identity.

The Free Press has learned the man is Adam Nigh. His family couldn’t be reached for comment.


Facebook photo

His Facebook page identifies him as a Simcoe resident and a student at Fanshawe College. He worked as an apprentice at Future Automotive in Simcoe.

“He was into the apprenticeship into becoming a mechanic,” co-worker Gary Moore said.

Nigh began working at Future Automotive as a high-school co-op student, he said.

Moore said he believes Nigh’s program at Fanshawe takes five years, with each year broken down into two classroom months and 10 months on the shop floor.

“He enjoyed working. He’s also into the racing,” Moore said.

The profile picture on Facebook shows a helmeted Nigh sitting in the roll cage of a stock car.

Police said the canoe tipped about 3 a.m and two other people — a 21-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman — were able to swim to shore, then called police. The three people in the canoe weren’t wearing life-jackets, police said.

Firefighters and police searched for hours Sunday. Police and firefighter boats were in the water on the pond, the deepest and largest of the cluster of six ponds in the environmentally significant area in south London.

The north pond is more than 20 metres deep in some places and is 9.4 hectares in area.

Officers on the ground scoured the shore and an OPP drone equipped with a camera also was used in the search.

Police said the body was found about 1:55 p.m. Monday after a search by an OPP vessel equipped with sonar.

The investigation into the cause and manner of the death continues, police said.

Since the investigation is ongoing, no decision has been made if charges are appropriate, police told The Free Press Monday.

The pond and surrounding trails on about 200 hectares are a magnet for anglers, canoeists, bird-watchers, hikers and naturalists.

The ponds were created by receding glaciers at the end of the last ice age.

hdaniszewski@postmedia.com

danbrown@postmedia.com