Four children and a man die after being swept away by tides in Quebec

Four children and a man are dead in Canada after they were caught by the tide while fishing in Quebec province, according to provincial police.

They were part of a group of 11 people fishing for capelin, a small forage fish known to spawn at night on the beach in spring and summer, on the shore of the St. Lawrence River in the Portneuf-sur-Mer area, about 300 miles northeast of Montreal. The six others were rescued. Emergency services were called to the scene around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Marilène Gill, a member of parliament who represents part of Quebec, called the deaths a “tragedy.”

“My mother’s heart is with you and my whole team is available,” she wrote on Twitter.

The four minors, all over the age of 10, were found unconscious early Saturday and brought to the local community health center, where a doctor pronounced them dead. The man, who was in his 30s, was found Saturday evening and also pronounced dead at a health center.

Divers from the provincial police service, police on all-terrain vehicles and boats, the Canadian armed forces and a coast guard helicopter helped scour the shoreline and river for the man.

The tides in the area can be dangerous, Canadian news media reported. The waters recede by up to half a mile at low tide, making it sometimes difficult to return to shore when the waters return.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain, a member of the National Assembly of Quebec, wrote on Twitter that she gave her full support to the mayor of the municipality, calling the deaths “a terrible drama.”

“The entire North Shore is shocked by this news!” she wrote.

It was not immediately clear how the group was swept up by the tide, but police said an investigation is ongoing to figure out what happened.

Erin Cunningham contributed to this report.

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