BARRIE, ONT. -- Provincial police call the lack of safety gear, like life jackets, a 'significant contributing factor' in the harrowing drowning of a Toronto man in Minden Hills Township on Saturday afternoon on Moore Lake, near Medallion Trail.

Sgt. Jason Folz said the man was paddling a canoe with his wife, four-year-old daughter, and a family friend, also a four-year-old girl, when their canoe capsized.

Folz said other boaters swept in to help and pulled the woman and one of the little girls from the lake. He said that as the man handed his daughter to someone, he slipped under the water.

The OPP and members of the Minden Hills Fire Department searched Moore Lake from the air and water. The man's body was recovered Saturday night.

On Tuesday, the OPP stated, "regardless of the exact sequence of events, unfortunately, a life was lost."

Police are encouraging any witnesses who haven't already talked with investigators to contact the Haliburton Highlands OPP.