Police investigating report of submerged vehicle in harbour

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OPP divers were on their way to Owen Sound harbour Thursday after a submerged vehicle was reported at the end of the pier just north of the grain elevators.

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The area was cordoned off with yellow tape, while police, firefighters and paramedics stood by on a cloudy but calm morning which threatened more rain, following severe thunderstorm warnings and a tornado watch Thursday.

There were a couple of Owen Sound police cruisers, a city fire truck and Grey County ambulance there. The Cape Providence search-and-rescue vessel was moored at the harbour wall, just south of the cordoned area.

City Fire Chief Phil Eagleson was heading to the scene Thursday morning when reached by phone.

“It looks right now like an SUV drove into the water off the west pier last night and there’s a bit of a recovery effort going on over there,” he said, deferring to police to say more. “It’s I guess ironic that it’s during our training exercise today.”

Police at the scene said a press release would be prepared.

Thursday was the third and final day of a Canadian Coast Guard-led search-and-rescue training session hosted in Owen Sound. It involved 27 participants from the Coast Guard, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Fire Department, Saugeen Fisheries Department, Owen Sound Fire & Emergency Services and the OPP.

They spent the first two days in a classroom at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre, studying search-and-rescue techniques and co-ordinated communications among multiple agencies under a command structure.

Thursday they were to continue with training out on the water. It’s to be a mock rescue of a person in the bay, transfer of the patient from one boat to another, then up into a helicopter. A Hercules airplane was to be in the area about 2:30 p.m., Eagleson said, if it’s not redirected to a real emergency.

“A lot of our scenarios are based around the fishing derby. You know how incredibly busy that area of Thompson’s Hole can get with boats. Sadly, we’ve seen accidents out there before. So scenarios are based around rescue of the anglers and the smaller boats,” Eagleson said.

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