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4 children dead in Quebec after being swept away by tide while fishing on North Shore

Provincial police say a group of 11 people were fishing when they were swept up by the tide.

The children, all over 10 years old, were part of a group of 11, six of which were reported missing overnight

Four children have been found unresponsive and one man is missing after they went fishing in Portneuf-sur-Mer, pictured here last May, on Quebec's North Shore. Quebec provincial police say they believe the group was swept up by the rising tide in the St. Lawrence River Estuary.

Four children were found unresponsive on a St. Lawrence River shoreline in Portneuf-sur-Mer on Quebec's North Shore, and were transported to a regional health centre Saturday, Quebec provincial police said.

The children, all above 10 years old, were among a group of 11 people fishing on the river bank without a boat when a rising tide swept them away.

Six were rescued but five, including the four children, were reported missing at around 2 a.m. Rescue teams are searching for the fifth person — a man in his 30s.

The children were not breathing when they were recovered on the shore, according to police spokesperson Sgt. Catherine Bernard.

"We are waiting for news about their health condition, but we fear for their lives," she said.

Quebec provincial police are searching for the missing man with all-terrain vehicles and by helicopter. Divers and Canadian Armed Forces soldiers are expected to assist in the the search.

"When it's low tide, you can fish a little further away from the shore. However, at some point the tide came back in and they were caught off guard when the tide started to rise," Bernard said in a phone interview.

Quebec Public Security Minister François Bonnardel called the situation an "unnamable catastrophe" and a tragedy in an interview with Radio-Canada about wildfires Saturday morning.

In a written statement, Bloc Québécois MP for Manicouagan Marilène Gill said her thoughts are with the people in the region. Her office said she will meet with the mayor, Jean-Maurice Tremblay, as soon as possible on Saturday.

"As a mother, my heart is with you and my entire team is here for you," read the statement.


Rachel Watts

CBC journalist

Rachel Watts is a journalist with CBC News in Quebec City. Originally from Montreal, she enjoys covering stories in the province of Quebec. You can reach her at rachel.watts@cbc.ca.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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