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

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

Chilliwack Chiefs benefit from BCHL Showcase exposure

Carter Wilkie’s first BCHL goal Saturday against Wenatchee earned him talks with several NCAA scouts.

Surging Okanagan Sun stop slumping Valley Huskers

A blocked punt set the tone for the Sun in a BC Football Conference game at the Apple Bowl.

Horse trainer suing Chilliwack feed mill after death of five animals

Alicia Harper seeking $500,000 to $1 million in losses and damages from Hi-Pro Feeds

Alert neighbour credited for Chilliwack arrest of wanted man

Police remind residents to report suspicious activity and get involved with crime prevention

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

Most Read