Body of missing paramedic in boating accident recovered near Kashechewan

Search and rescue crews on the shore of the Albany River on Tuesday. Photo: Chief Gaius Wesley/Facebook

A search and rescue mission has recovered the body of a paramedic who went missing from a boating accident on the Albany River on Monday night.

In a Facebook update, Chief Gaius Wesley of Kashechewan First Nation says the body of paramedic Arjanan Sivasathiyarajah was recovered by crews around 5 p.m. on Wednesday night.

“To the young man that brought his exemplary service in the health care of our people and the sacrifice he made to leave his family behind for us, we will continue to honour his life and will never forget him and his family,” wrote Wesley.

The paramedic had begun working in Kashechewan two weeks ago and was taking part in a supply run to the nearby community of Fort Albany First Nation. Wesley says the boat carrying Sivasathiyarajah with another paramedic and a nurse had an accident after it hit shallow waters and the motor came off.

Due to strong currents, the team was forced to abandon their boat. Sivasathiyarajah had tried to retrieve their boat but got swept away in a current.

“On behalf of my leadership and community, we wish to extend our utmost sincerest condolences to the late Arjanan Sivasathiyarajah’s family and friends, and to the community at WAHA. We continue to pray that they may find comfort and peace,” says Wesley in an update.

Weeneebayko Area Health Authority, where the paramedic worked, has organized a GoFundMe page to help support the family with funeral expenses and is continuing to accept donations until Friday at 1:00 p.m.

“Arjanan had only been in the community for two weeks, but had made a lasting impact on all who got to know him,” says the GoFundMe post.

The paramedic’s family accepted condolences from community members at the Kashechewan airport on Wednesday.

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