Manitoulin OPP investigate sudden death in Meldrum Bay

Eighteen-year-old Kyle Benedict passed away tragically Monday while swimming in Meldrum Bay.

18-year-old dies in suspected drowning

MELDRUM BAY—On Monday, July 22 at approximately 1:26 pm, officers from the Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), with the assistance of the Sudbury-Manitoulin Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to a report of a possible drowning in Meldrum Bay. 

An 18-year-old male, Kyle Benedict, was pronounced dead at the scene. The man, who was with other people at the time, was swimming at the dock area in Meldrum Bay when the incident occurred. The Recorder has learned that the man, who was from southern Ontario, had been visiting relatives in Silver Water.  

The OPP investigation is ongoing under the direction of the Office of the Chief Coroner and Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-FPS).

A GoFundMe fundraising page has been established online, In Memory of Kyle Benedict, to help his family with the funeral and travel costs.

The page states, “a sudden tragedy has taken a vibrant 18-year-old man from this world, his family and his many friends.

“Kyle Benedict was the loving son of his mother, Samantha Davis. He was the shadow of his father William Benedict. His little sister Aurora was his best friend from day one. He recently completed Grade 12 at John McGregor Secondary School in Chatham. Always the academic, he decided to stay for one more year, a victory lap, before heading to post-secondary education. He will be missed by teachers and students alike when September rolls around.

“His friends, of which there are many, are mourning what was a gentle soul. He was inclusive, fun, adventurous, caring and a pillar of strength.

“His early days saw him as a hockey player. He played against kids double his size but he had triple the spirit. His family was always so proud of his accomplishments and never missed those early ice times. Kyle excelled in hockey, but when he turned into a teenager, he opted for something different to fill his free time—cadets.

“Kyle Benedict was a member of 59th Legion Highlander Army Cadet Corps in Chatham. Through the years he rose to the rank of master warrant officer (acting regimental sergeant major at the last annual inspection). He was a leader. A friend to all. He had many opportunities with cadets that brought him to far-reaching places in the name of expedition. Few cadets are chosen for the course. He had two recommendations for it and again, he excelled. He went hiking and white-water rafting. He camped and learned survival skills.

“And yet, here we are. A swimming accident on a hot summer day on his beloved Manitoulin Island.

“If you can help his family with funeral costs and travel costs, it would be much appreciated. Perhaps a cadet memorial fund/scholarship/award can come of any proceeds that reach above what is needed for the funeral,” the GoFundMe Page adds.