A fishing excursion ended in tragedy on Saturday when four children were killed in a town in northeastern Quebec, provincial police said.

Authorities said they were still searching for a missing man in his 30s who was a member of the fishing party and was missing.

The bodies of the four children, all under the age of 10, were found unconscious on the riverbank a few hours after authorities received an emergency call about a group that had been washed away by the tide near Portneuf-sur-Mer. , about 550 kilometers. (341 miles) northeast of Montreal.

They were part of a group of 11 fishing for capelin on foot near the shoreline when the rising tide caught them by surprise.

Divers from the Quebec Provincial Police and members of the Canadian Forces participated in the search for the missing adult.

Mayor Jean-Maurice Tremblay said Saturday he did not know more about the victims or if they were from Portneuf-sur-Mer, a community of about 600 people.

“Everyone is affected by what happened, because this type of event is the first time it has happened,” Tremblay said in French. “When it comes to five people and four children drowning during a recreational activity, it sure makes people very sad.”

Capelin, a silvery fish, is a forage species eaten by many marine animals, and Tremblay said fishing for them is a popular activity off his part of Quebec’s north shore. It is done on the banks of the river using shovels instead of fishing lines.

Capelin usually rolls at night, so people build a fire on the shore and wait, Tremblay added.

Tremblay said the ATVs accessed the sandbar where the victims were fishing. They were trapped in a part of the peninsula where parts can be submerged in up to four meters of water at high tide.

A 911 call came in around 2 a.m. Saturday, and police say six people were pulled from the water and five others were reported missing: the four victims and the missing man.

The bodies of the four children were transported to a nearby health clinic where a doctor confirmed their deaths.

Police investigators and forensic teams have been deployed to shed light on what happened.