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

Ryan Elden looks to win medal for Team B.C. at Canada Winter Games

The Quesnel biathlete started his career competing for Cariboo Ski Touring Club

Coralee Oakes concerned Tuesday’s throne speech too “urban-centric”

North Cariboo MLA doesn’t see enough for rural communities

Delicious donation to The Forge in Quesnel

Cariboo Chapter #71 Order of the Eastern Star and Dairy Queen donated $300

Body positive burlesque in Quesnel

Local burlesque troupe is “like nothing people have ever seen before”

Quesnel Forestry Hockey League: Week 19 highlights

Bear plays top-rate defense against plummeting BCS; short-staffed Serenity squeaks by Fraser River

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Most Read