A 20-year-old Irish man who was in Canada for the summer on a working visa drowned on Tuesday morning while out for a morning swim in shallow waters with two friends from Ireland.

The young man, whose name has not yet been released, was due to finish up his summer in Canada next week and return home to Ireland.

The man was part of a group of friends who were camping on Centre Island, a few miles from Toronto city.

Just after 7.30 a.m. Tuesday morning, the man’s friends frantically called police saying their friend had disappeared after they went for a swim off the pier on the south side of the Island.

They told police they were all swimming back to shore when one of them turned around to look for their friend but he was nowhere to be seen.

The Toronto Police Marines found the young man in about eight feet of water. It is believed that the young Irish man had been in the water for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Police Sergeant, Ron Tapley said, “We managed to have one of our lifeguards dive into the water, bring him up the surface, and we immediately started CPR. We brought the victim to shore, did an emergency run to St. Mike's, but unfortunately he was pronounced dead on arrival.”

“It's possible the man's body reacted badly to the 15C waters,” Tapley said.

“The water is cold, it does shock the body.”

Toronto Police said the area was not known to be dangerous for swimmers and described conditions as choppy when search teams were dispatched to the scene.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that they have been contacted by the Irish Embassy in Toronto, and said they were in the process of contacting the family.