Rough waters, windy conditions delay recovery efforts for 9-year-old boy

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) says rough waters and windy conditions have delayed the search for the body of nine-year-old Alex Ottley.

Alex went missing in the frigid waters of Lake Erie on Saturday. A family friend said the boy jumped into the water to try and save his friend who had slipped in.

Alex Owens

Police search for body of 9-year-old boy in Lake Erie

Search teams were out Monday and two divers used sonar equipment to search for the boy. However, poor visibility and a build-up of ice made it difficult for officers.

Search for Alex divers

Recovery efforts were set to resume Tuesday morning, but as of 9 a.m., the conditions were too dangerous for members of the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit to enter the water.

The close-knit community has been devastated by the loss. Many neighbours remembered Alex as a polite and happy little boy who was always with his sister, Melody.

Melody was with the two boys when they were swept into the waters. The 10-year-old girl ran up to the roadway to flag down a vehicle for help. OPP says a man and woman from the vehicle went out onto the ice to the water’s edge and were able to rescue the eight-year-old boy but could not find Alex.

OPP will wait for conditions to improve before enter the water but a shoreline search is currently underway.