News

Man drowns while ice fishing in Waterford

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

The OPP dive unit out of Gravenhurst recovered the body of a man Sunday who went through the ice at the Waterford North Conservation Area on Saturday. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

The OPP dive unit out of Gravenhurst recovered the body of a man Sunday who went through the ice at the Waterford North Conservation Area on Saturday. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

WATERFORD - 

A Hamilton man died after falling through the ice while fishing in Waterford on the weekend.

An OPP dive team recovered the man's body at the Waterford North Conservation Area around 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

Police have identified the deceased as Jani Daliyanazlou, 68, of Hamilton. Norfolk OPP were told Daliyanazlou went through the ice around 5 p.m. Saturday. He was recovered in about 15 feet of water.

Police report the man’s nine-year-old relative from Burlington was skating on the pond when Daliyanazlou went through. The boy tried to help the man but fell into the water himself. Bystanders tried to rescue the pair but only managed to extricate the boy.

The Waterford North CA consists of a network of old quarries that have since filled in with water. The network drains into Nanticoke Creek.

The incident happened in the north-east corner of the main pond where the public comes to swim. The man went through the ice about 100 feet west of the main gate on the south side of Mechanic Street.

Police report the victim was ice fishing. Saturday was not a good day to be on the ice anywhere in southern Ontario as temperatures soared into the range of 12 degrees C. It was a sunny, comfortable day bordering on T-shirt weather.

“You can see there are areas of open ice,” Const. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk OPP said at the scene Sunday. “The water was open like this on Saturday when we were called.

“This is a stark reminder that we have to make safety a priority. You need to do your research and always be aware of your surroundings. It’s a sad day in Norfolk, this being the Family Day weekend and all.”

Sanchuk added the death is not suspicious and foul play is not suspected.

“The OPP would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens that assisted with this incident,” Sanchuk said in a news release Sunday afternoon. “Their courageous actions resulted in saving the life of this young boy. I would also like to extend our condolences to the family of the deceased.”

First responders included Norfolk Fire & Rescue. Firefighters attempted a rescue but were unable to locate the victim. The search was called off Saturday evening due to safety concerns.

The OPP dive unit is based in Gravenhurst. Sunday’s recovery involved about four divers.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com