Family of man swept to sea at Peggys Cove calls for new safety measures
The grieving family of an Ontario man swept out to sea at Peggys Cove last week is calling for new safety measures at the Nova Scotia landmark.
Jim and Caroline Quattrochi were at their home near Smiths Falls, Ont. when they learned their son, 25-year-old Jamie Quattrochi, had gone missing on April 22.
He and his girlfriend Brittany Smith were visiting Peggys Cove when the tragedy occurred.
“When he was on the rocks a wave came, and he stumbled a little, and was backing away as another wave came — and they were sudden waves,” said Caroline.
“She screamed for help, then someone got help from the restaurant but by the time help arrived she couldn't see him anymore."
Search crews worked for nearly six hours that day before calling off the search.
The Quattrochis’ hope faded fast as RCMP shared news about the challenging search conditions.
“The water conditions were becoming rougher and rougher as the afternoon progressed making it much more difficult to search for him,” Caroline said.
“Brittany said the only thing that would have helped was being able to throw something to Jamie,” she said.
Jamie is not the first visitor to die tragically at Peggys Cove.
Despite a number of warning signs for visitors at the iconic tourist attraction, the Quattrochis say more needs to be done.
They want to see safety devices installed close to the water’s edge, ready to deploy in case someone falls into the water.
“When I mentioned this idea to Brittany, it was the first time since the tragedy that I saw any glimmer, any shining in her eyes — that we could turn this tragedy into something positive and try to make it so that other families don't experience the kind of pain we're experiencing right now,” Caroline said.
The minister responsible said last week the province will review the case and consider what can be done to protect tourists.
“When these types of incidents take place we all have to reassess the circumstances and be conscious of whatever preventative measures we could take to provide another level of safety at that particular location,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey.
An RCMP underwater recovery team spent much of Sunday looking for Jamie’s body, but without success.
The RCMP say they’ve ended their search.
Now, Jim and Caroline are preparing to say goodbye to their son.
“We are helping each other as we can and giving each other support, and doing the best we can do for each other,” Jim said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett