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Brockville man still missing on Butternut Bay

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Provincial police were continuing their search of Butternut Bay Monday for a 31-year-old Brockville man who went missing in the St. Lawrence River on Saturday afternoon.

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As of early Monday evening, more than two days of searching had proved fruitless.

Members of the Leeds County detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police responded just before 3 p.m. on Saturday to reports of a 31-year-old man who reportedly jumped off a boat and never resurfaced.

On Sunday, the OPP’s Leeds and Grenville Marine Unit boat was making slow east-west passes in the area just west of Brockville, as members continued the search. They were joined in their efforts by divers from the OPP’s underwater search and recovery unit.

The RCMP marine unit was also providing assistance, Leeds County OPP Cst. Erin Cranton said Sunday. While other media reported the Canadian and U.S. coast guards were also joining in the search, Cranton could not confirm that information.

Officers on the OPP boat could be seen stopping pleasure boaters in the area as they carried out their search. Their search area was a popular spot frequented by local boaters, but was also part of the St. Lawrence Seaway shipping channel, meaning the searchers had to make allowances for large cargo vessels heading up and downriver at regular intervals.

Cranton had no further details when contacted early Sunday evening, and could not be reached for comment on Monday.

She added police were not identifying the victim at the request of the family, who requested privacy as other family members could not be immediately notified.

Family members near the area of the search, when approached by The Recorder and Times on Sunday, declined to comment, also citing that reason. While requesting anonymity, they did confirm the missing man is from Brockville.

Witnesses at the scene on Monday said a search helicopter crew was back at work looking over the shoreline, while the OPP divers continued their underwater search.

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the missing man is 27 years old, based on information provided by provincial police, who have since corrected that information.Please check this story later for updates.)

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