Man Dies During Recovery Effort After Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Ottawa River

On May 25, 2018 at approximately 6:30 p.m., a small private plane lost power and the pilot, who was the lone occupant of the plane, made an emergency landing near Balmer Bay on the Ottawa River in the Town of Laurentian Hills. Members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded after being notified of the incident. The 49-year-old pilot, who had departed from the Deep River airport, sustained minor injuries and was able to safely swim to shore. Transportation Safety Board (TSB) was notified and are investigating. The Ministry of the Environment was also notified. 


On May 26, 2018 at approximately 11 a.m., a diver involved in the recovery effort of the plane became entangled in a rope attached to the plane and was unable to surface. A 9-1-1 call was placed and efforts made by others on scene to reach the diver were unsuccessful. Several units of the OPP responded including the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP Marine Unit, OPP Helicopter, OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU), and an OPP Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO). The Deep River Police and Fire Department along with the Renfrew County Paramedics, Ornge and Garrison Petawawa Fire Department attended the scene as well.


Members of the OPP USRU recovered the body of the male diver later that day.  Deceased is 56-year-old John BEEVIS of Laurentian Valley Township. An autopsy will be conducted and the investigation is continuing.