A 59 year-old Waskaganish man drowned in a bizarre incident that occurred on the Kapeshi Rapids.

The accident happened on the afternoon of Saturday, September 18, at Kilometre 49 near Waskaganish. Two Cree and a couple of non-natives were installing electrical wires for Hydro from their boats when one of the cables got stuck on the back of the boat. The cable forced it to slowly go down and water seeped in.

Three workers were pulled out of the boat into the water. Unfortunately one of the workers, Richard Small couldn’t get out of the water in time and he drowned.

Waskaganish Police officer Jim Hester said that there was no criminal act committed and that more will be known after the autopsy.

Joanne Savard, a spokesperson for Hydro Quebec said that CSST is investigating the incident to see if any negligence did in fact occur. She wasn’t aware of similar incidents involving Hydro workers in the past.

If it was found that the company was negligent in some way, Small’s family could be compensated for their loss. Savard was quick to mention however that Hydro would not be liable because Small was working for the Waskaganish band at the time.