The cause of death is believed to be drowning though the originating factor is believed to be a heart attack. Alexis was submerged for several minutes before recovery and failed to respond to emergency treatment by doctors. He was rushed by ambulance to Belleveau Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
There was believed to be only a single Orca in the pool at the time of the unfortunate accident.
Alexis had been working at the park since 2004 and with the whales since 2007 and was very popular with all the staff and his passing has caused much grief and mourning.
There were several other Orca trainers in the area at the time of the accident. It is reported that a collision with the whale had rendered the young man unconcious and that he had drowned by the time his body was recovered.
The whale in the incident was called 'Keto' and was not the animal which caused severe injuries to another trainer a couple of years ago. Training sessions have been suspended whilst investigations take place.
I believe I am joined by the rest of the zoo world in offering sincere condolences to the young mans family, friends and colleagues.