UPDATE: Earle suffered heart attack during dive

UPDATE: Earle suffered heart attack during dive

CORNWALL, Ontario – John Earle suffered a heart attack while diving, which lead to his death, his wife said Wednesday morning.

Alyssa Blais told Seaway News in an interview that an autopsy report shows Earle suffered a massive heart attack, and his death was not in any way related to the dive he was in the midst of Saturday evening.

“The doctor said it could have happened during a bike ride or even a walk,” she said. “It was just the physical exertion.”

Blais, despite suffering through a trying number of days since Earle passed away Saturday, recounted in detail the circumstances that lead to tragedy.

She said the two had been on their way to Prescott Saturday so that Earle could try out a new metal detector he had purchased with some birthday money.

But on the drive to Prescott, Blais said Earle realized he had forgotten his wetsuit.

With time, and sunlight, diminishing the two decided to return to get his wetsuit and dive in Cornwall instead.

Blais said she sat the dive out, and read a book at a nearby picnic table while Earle completed his dive.

After some time beneath the water Earle surfaced and was crying for help.

“I could hear in his voice he was very distressed,” said Blais. “But he wasn’t out of breath.”

Blais said she holds a special place in her heart for Raymond Burelle, a boater who was returning to shore and immediately took off for Earle when he realized the Cornwall filmmaker was in trouble.

“He was amazing,” said Blais.

Of course by now Earle was in serious trouble. By the time Blais was able to swim out to Earle’s location in the water, tragedy had already set in.

Despite the best efforts for emergency personnel, as well as doctors and nurses at the Cornwall Community Hospital, Earle had succumbed to the heart attack.

Earle is being remembered in Cornwall as a man who loved his community, not to mention his family and friends.

Earle’s wake will take place Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at John Sullivan Funeral Home 341 Pitt street, across from city hall. His funeral will be held on Friday, July 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis De Sales Parish, 434 Second St West.

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