Body of missing swimmer found in river near covered bridge in Wakefield, Que.

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Emergency crews search for a man in the Gatineau River near Wakefield, Que., Sunday afternoon. (Felix Desroches/Radio Canada - image credit)
Emergency crews search for a man in the Gatineau River near Wakefield, Que., Sunday afternoon. (Felix Desroches/Radio Canada - image credit)

The body of a young man who disappeared while swimming with friends in the Gatineau River near the covered bridge in Wakefield, Que., has been located.

Police had been searching for the missing 25-year-old swimmer since around 1 p.m. when he went underwater and didn't resurface after swimming with three friends.

In an email sent late Sunday night, police with the MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais said divers from the Sûreté du Québec located the man's body around 9:45 p.m. near the location where he went missing.

Police said initial findings indicated alcohol was not a factor in the man's death.

The covered bridge near Wakefield has been a controversial swimming spot for years. Residents complain of garbage left by tourists, and police have periodically warned residents that the popular summer pastime of jumping off the bridge is prohibited.

In 2015, a 23-year-old Algonquin College student died after drinking alcohol and swimming from the rocks beneath the bridge.

The municipality of La Pêche designated the rocks around the bridge as a park so they could enforce strict rules around alcohol consumption and hours of access in the area.

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