Global Affairs Canada has confirmed the death of two Canadian citizens in Antigua and Barbuda, news that comes amid reports from local officials that a woman and child drowned last week at Devil’s Bridge.
“Consular officials are providing consular assistance and support to the family and are in contact with local authorities to obtain additional information,” Global Affairs told CTVNews.ca in an emailed statement. “Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed.”
The department did not specify the circumstances or location of the deaths, but local media is reporting that two tourists confirmed by officials to have drowned at Devil’s Bridge were Canadian citizens.
The Devil’s Bridge is a natural rock formation on the east coast of Antigua and Barbuda.
A press release issued by the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) last week stated that on Nov. 30, they were informed that a woman and a child had fallen into rough waters at the Devil’s Bridge around 6:45 a.m.
The ABDF Coast Guard responded to the scene around 7:30 a.m., but determined that the “surging sea condition” was too unsafe to navigate. Half an hour later, they were able to recover the body of the woman.
“The asset continued to monitor the environment closely, in good faith of locating the missing child while a team of rescue divers made preparations to deploy; however, shortly afterwards the body of the second victim was discovered on a nearby shoreline approx.. 200m south of the initial search area by concerned members of the Willikies community,” the release stated.
Both were pronounced dead shortly after 9 a.m. ABDF added that an adult man was the “survivor of the unforeseen tragedy.”
CTVNews.ca has reached out to the government of Antigua and Barbuda for more information.
Charles Fernandez, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister, said in an appearance on a local news channel that it is “still a shock to all of us,” calling the situation a “tragedy.”
“I still am feeling it,” he told Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Services on Nov. 30. “I … saw the father, and as a father myself, I can only imagine what he’s going through.”
This is the second time this year that someone has died after falling into the water at Devil’s Bridge. In April, a Canadian man was killed after falling off of the limestone formation.