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Ice rider feeling the heat

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Journal Staff

Military officials confirmed last week they are investigating a naval diver who sparked a massive search and rescue effort after being spotted riding ice floes in the St. Clair River.

Curt Brown, a member of a London naval reserve unit, donned a black dry suit and flippers, entered the river and rode broken ice chunks beneath the Blue Water Bridge on March 21.

But he didn’t notify authorities of his intentions, and later posted a self-shot online video in which he rides a floe beneath the bridge at night.

After a citizen reported seeing someone on the ice, police, fire and Canadian Coast Guard personnel conducted an extensive search, and a helicopter swept the river for six hours.

“A person of honour would have apologized for the inconvenience and costs that were associated with this search,” Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley wrote in a letter to his commanding officers.

In response, Lieutenant-Commander Sean Batte told the mayor Brown was not participating in a sanctioned naval event and apologized for the risk to Sarnia’s first responders.

Brown also offered a public apology.

“I have friends and family in almost all branches of our emergency services and I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have these fantastic public services available,” he said.














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