Tragedy at falls

Single-father of two killed in accident

Justin Dickie webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on June 27, 2007
Drysdale Falls near Tatamagouche is popular for its beauty and seclusion as illustrated by this photograph taken last summer, but has proven on many occasions to be dangerous to those who swim there. Oxford native John Logan Powell, 40, was killed in an accident there Monday. Sherry Martell - file

OXFORD - Family and friends of John Logan Powell are shaken and grieving today after the 40-year-old drowned at Drysdale Falls, near Tatamagouche, Monday evening.

"We're pretty much in shock right now, the whole family. It's a big tragedy for us," said his aunt Sheena Skidmore.

OXFORD - Family and friends of John Logan Powell are shaken and grieving today after the 40-year-old drowned at Drysdale Falls, near Tatamagouche, Monday evening.

"We're pretty much in shock right now, the whole family. It's a big tragedy for us," said his aunt Sheena Skidmore.

Powell, an Oxford man who worked at A&M Fabrication, was with four other people, including his nine-year-old son Dylan, when he jumped into the lower pool of the falls.

"Once he landed in the water, he was in some sort of difficulty and then he went under," said RCMP Sgt. Dave Darrah. "We don't know whether he hit himself on the rocks or what happened."

Ian MacDonald, deputy chief of the Tatamagouche fire department, said the incident was the saddest he's seen.

"We had a family out here that lost a father," MacDonald said. "I was walking around out here with a nine-year-old boy that just lost his dad. What can be any sadder than that, being a parent of children that age myself."

Powell was a single father. Skidmore said his children Dylan and Micheal, 17, were his life.

"He was just completely devoted to those kids. He did everything with the kids," Skidmore said. "They were always big into the outdoors. He was always hunting and fishing and fourwheeling and rollerblading. It was just him and the boys sort of thing.

"That's basically his life right there."

Drysdale Falls is a remote, unsupervised area on private property. It's a popular place for people to go for camping, swimming and diving. Darrah said injuries are frequent at the location.

MacDonald said his department along with other emergency services and organizations have been trying to find a way to keep people out of there.

"The currents are strong, the water is especially high this time of year," MacDonald said. "They've been coming for years and they just don't realize the dangers of it.

"A lot of the times, it's alcohol-related. This time, that doesn't seem to be the case. That makes it twice as tragic."



jdickie@amherstdaily.com