Police are asking for the public’s help in tracing the last movements of a 32-year-old Cobourg man whose body was recovered yesterday (May 9) from Lake Ontario.
At around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the Northumberland detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a man who was in distress in the water at Cobourg’s West Beach, located just west of Victoria Park.
The Cobourg Fire Department and the Canadian Coast Guard arrived at the scene with their marine vessels and began the search for the man, who was no longer visible. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) from 8 Wing Trenton later arrived with a helicopter to assist in the search efforts.
The body of a man was recovered from Lake Ontario around 200 metres off shore. Although his vital signs were absent, he was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The man was later identified as Ryan John-Roger Zinke, age 32 of Cobourg, and investigators are asking for the public’s help in tracing his last movements. He is described as Caucasian, 5 8″ (173cm), 145lbs (66kg) with a thin build. He was last seen wearing athletic shorts and no shirt.
Zinke was known to frequent the Cobourg beach area.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cobourg OPP Detachment at 905-372-5421 or toll free at 1-888-310-1122.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you may call the Peterborough/Northumberland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 and not have to appear in court.
The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the Northumberland Crime Unit under the direction of Detective Inspector Paul Rosato of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch.
While it is unknown what happened to Zinke, the water temperature of Lake Ontario on May 9th was around 14°C (56°F). According to the U.S. National Center for Cold Water Safety, water at this temperature is very dangerous and can result in total loss of breathing control.
Sudden immersion in water of this temperature can result in gasping and hyperventilating, which can result in a person inhaling water into their lungs. The first warm days of spring are a particularly dangerous time of year, as people may be tempted to enter the water.