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

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

100 Mile House Wranglers eliminated from KIJHL playoffs

Second year in a row the team has been eliminated by the Revelstoke Grizzlies

A section of North Bonaparte Road has flooded in Pressy Lake area

The flooding is approximately 17-30 kilometres east of 70 Mile House.

Prescribed burns to take place around Lytton, Spences Bridge

BC Wildfire Service will only conduct burns if conditions permit

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read