Family identifies one of three drowned cliff-jumpers in tragic scene

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MOON RIVER, Ont. - The family of one of three cliff-jumpers who drowned in a treacherous waterfall in Ontario's Muskoka cottage region arrived at the scene Tuesday to identify the young man after his body was pulled from the water.
A woman kneeled over and kissed the hand of the man as two other family members wept over the body.
Police identified the man as Peter Ludian, in his mid-20s, from the Toronto area.
Ludian's body was pulled from the water in the Moon River area at about 9:15 a.m., just 15 minutes after police divers resumed their search for the three young men.
At about 1:15 p.m., they dragged another body out of the water. The search continued in the afternoon in hopes of finding the third.
The three cliff-jumpers went missing Sunday.
Seven friends, all believed to be in their 20s, had travelled from Toronto to spend the weekend together in the popular camping and cottage district.
They all got into the fast-moving water at the lower portion of the waterfalls, but only four came out.
The swimmers entered the lower portion of the waterfalls where the water moved faster than normal and was half a metre higher than usual due to recent heavy rainfall.
Insp. Ed Medved, of Bracebridge police, said it's too early to tell whether alcohol played a role.
"But it's clearly based on circumstances of some people making poor choices of where to go swimming," he said.
"It was a really poor and unfortunate choice."
Mark Walsh, who is renting a cottage on the river, had beers Monday with six "heroes" from Barrie, Ont., who saw the swimmers in trouble and reacted quickly.
"They had a machete with them, chopped down a tree, and put some towels or shirts in the end of it and got...four of them out," Walsh said.
"I told them, you guys should be proud of yourselves. You saved lives today."
A man who had come to the scene with Ludian's family took one last look at the body bag flapping in the wind before walking away.
The rest of the family stood staring into the vortex where the young man died. One girl left the group and sat alone as she mourned.
Police loaded the body onto the helicopter as the family looked on.

Geographic location: Toronto, Ontario, Muskoka Moon River Bracebridge Barrie

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