Search teams locate body of B.C.-born soldier

Trp. Sam Christiansen was swept away while swimming in the Ottawa River

Ontario police have identified the body of a man located in the Ottawa River as that of Samuel Eli Christiansen.

The discovery was made on the afternoon of June 27 following a combined five-day search involving the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Aviation Unit, Underwater Search and Recovery Unit and Emergency Response Team.

The Terrace-born 20-year old and a friend were swimming in the Ottawa River when they were caught by rapids and swept away. The unidentified second swimmer made it back to shore safely and called for help.

Sam’s mother, Sherelyn Lachapelle Christiansen, posted a message on Facebook to thank all involved in the search.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Ontario Provincial Police, the Whitewater Region Fire Department, the military’s Search and Rescue personnel, JRCC, his entire RCD / CAF Family and the Ottawa Valley paddling community who we know have been searching day and night for Samuel. Our thanks also go to Quebec Hydro for assisting the search by restricting their dam operations. Thank you for finding our son. We have received a flood of support from our home community, Ottawa Valley and right across Canada and beyond which has meant a great deal and are very grateful.”

Sam was an experienced outdoorsman and a Trooper with the Royal Canadian Dragoons as part of the regular force at CFB Petawawa in Ontario.

“The Petawawa military community is mourning the tragic loss of one of our own,” Colonel Michael Wright, Commander 2 CMBG said in a statement. “On behalf of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, I offer our deepest condolences to the Christiansen family, and to his fellow Dragoons who are grieving the loss of a comrade and friend. Samuel Christiansen was proud to serve his country and his loss will be profoundly felt by the Petawawa military community.”

The Caledonia Senior Secondary graduate appeared numerous times in the Terrace Standard for sports and educational accomplishments, but most mostly for his achievements with the 747 Terrace Air Cadets. In 2015 he was presented with the inaugural Terrace Steel Aerospace Award from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 13 for his outstanding performance as a cadet in the 747 Squadron.

Two years prior Sam was awarded the prestigious Lord Strathcona Medal, the highest award that can be given to a cadet.

The tragedy this week occurred on a section of rapids on the Ottawa River near the Whitewater Region Township, Ontario.

Upon receiving a call for help from Sam’s friend, the OPP, area fire departments and county paramedics assisted in the initial search, led by professional whitewater rafters familiar with the area. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre later dispatched two helicopters with forward-looking infrared technology.

The search continued through the weekend to Tuesday, June 26, with ground searches and additional support from an OPP helicopter and underwater search and recovery unit.

By Wednesday Hydro Quebec temporarily lowered the river levels to assist the underwater search efforts.

On the afternoon of June 28 Sam’s body was found in the vicinity of the rapids that swept him away.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Who will fill the Greyhound void in the Kootenays?

Minister Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West sees opportunity for local operators

Equipment lost in arson at Greenwood landfill

The cost of replacing equipment is expected to be significant.

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Updated: Coroner investigating death of Trail man

A complicated recovery was required for a man who died in a fall above the Trail hospital

Denesiuk announces South Okanagan—West Kootenay Liberal candidacy

Connie Densiuk wants to build on growth from 2015 election

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Special Olympics athletes take on BC Games during Global Day of Inclusion

Twenty-five athletes and nine coaches are here in Cowichan Valley during the 50th anniversary

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser launched to help mom of French jogger detained after accidentally crossing U.S border

Cedella Roman, 19, was detained in America after accidentally crossing the border

Trump slams Federal Reserve rate hikes

Fed raised benchmark rate for a second time this year in June, and projects two more hikes to come

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

Most Read