Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man charged following deadly boating incident

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WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg man has been charged after a boat capsized on the Assiniboine River near The Forks Market Saturday.

The other man on the boat, a 37-year-old Winnipeg man, did not resurface near the Promenade Bridge and police say he is presumed drowned. His body has not yet been found.

Johnny Roy Petriew, 35, of Winnipeg has been charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and failure to provide breath samples.

Petriew is being detained at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Police say their investigation showed the two men were operating a four-metre aluminium fishing boat with a small horsepower tiller motor.

As the boat was approaching The Forks Market area about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the boat capsized and both men, who were not wearing life jackets, fell into the Assiniboine.

One of the men climbed onto a pile of driftwood where he was rescued by fire department rescue crews. Witnesses said the man walked to a waiting ambulance before being taken to hospital.

Witnesses said the man was swept down the Assiniboine River into the Red River.

Winnipeg Police Sgt. Rob Riffel said strong currents and excessive amounts of floodwater flowing on the Assiniboine are preventing police from searching for the second man’s body.

"The flood is preventing the dive unit from undertaking dive operations at this time," Riffel said Sunday. "It’s way too dangerous for us to go in the water."

He said they will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days.

Anyone who may have witnessed this boat on the river before it capsized is asked to contact police investigators at 986-6271.


Updated on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 9:34 AM CDT: Updates of search for body.

1:22 PM: Police lay charges.

2:44 PM: Added reports on search for missing man.

3:03 PM: Police seek public's assistance.

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