The former first lady of Gambia, Zeinab Jammeh, and son Muhammed Yahya Jammeh, have drowned in Canada in what police are calling a “case of misadventure”.

The accident took place at Lake Ontario, Canadian province of Ontario, according to Police statement.

The Gambian Embassy representative confirmed the report to the media that Zeinab and her son, Muhammed, were fishing on April 29, when Muhammed fell into the water. He was in distress and Zeinab jumped into the water to assist him. According to the Embassy, both were pulled from the water but could not be resuscitated.

Zeinab Suma Jammeh

According to reports, the water was a punishing 35 degrees Fahrenheit at the time, only slightly above freezing.


Officials of Canada and the Gambia Embassy are processing the accident and further information will be communicated to the media, the Embassy rep said.

The two, Zeinab Jammeh, 41, Muhammed Yahya Jammeh, 12, were avid outdoor enthusiasts and according to their Canadian host, they were on a two-week secret vacation.

Zeinab Suma Jammeh married the former President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh in 1999 and she was his main wife.

An average of 289 people drown in Canada each year while recreating in, on or near the water.

Lake Ontario, where the incident took place, is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is surrounded on the north, west, and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south and east by the American state of New York, whose water boundaries meet in the middle of the lake.