A bride posing for photographs in her wedding gown has drowned after her dress got wet and dragged her into a river near a ‘violently’ rushing waterfall in Canada.
30-year-old Maria Pantazopoulos was standing on a rock when she slipped and fell into the Ouareau River near Dorwin Falls, north of Montreal, on Friday afternoon. Her body was found several hours later, around 6pm.
The newly-wed yelled ‘I’m slipping, I’m slipping, I’m slipping,’ before falling off the rock she was perched on for her wedding pictures, according to CBC.
The photo-shoot was part of an increasing trend dubbed ‘Trash the Dress’ where recent brides playfully destroy their wedding dress. Pantazopoulos had commissioned the shoot following her June 9 wedding.
The distraught photographer, Louis Pagakis, told CTV Montreal that he did everything he could to save Pantazopoulos after she got into danger.
She had her wedding dress on and she said, ‘take some pictures of me while I swim a little bit in the lake,’ she went in and her dress got heavy, I tried everything I could to save her,” he told the station, visibly emotional.
Quebec provincial police spokesman Sgt. Ronald McInnis described the site as being elevated and rocky, with water ‘violently’ rushing below.
‘She was doing the photo shoot in about 6 inches or 1-foot of water when part of her wedding dress got soaked and became extremely heavy,’ McInnis told MailOnline.
‘She started slipping and falling down when the photographer grabbed her but she was too heavy that he couldn’t pull her from the edge.
‘Another person tried to grab her but also was unable to save her from falling into the river.’
McInnes said Pantazopoulos, from Laval, a small Island north of Montreal, was found 100-feet from where she fell by a private diver who knows the river and volunteered to help with the search.
The diver pulled the young woman’s body, still clad in her voluminous wedding dress, from the river, which was 20-foot deep in the part she was found.
‘She had sunk to the bottom,’ McInnes said.
Two witnesses, believed to be the photographer and an assistant, were hospitalised for extreme shock.
McInnes said the bride’s fiance was not present for the photo shoot and neither were any family members. However, her cousins and her brother rushed to the site when they heard of the tragedy.
‘It’s horrible,’ McInnes said. ‘This is the first time I’ve heard of a story like that. I told my partner, this is a story that is going to go all around the world.’
Pantazopoulos wanted the fun photos taken at the falls, perched on the rocks in her gown, Marco Michaud, a colleague of the photographer taking the pictures told CBC.