15-year-old boy drowns in Missouri River

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | 2:50 p.m. CDT; updated 3:38 p.m. CDT, Sunday, August 16, 2009

COLUMBIA — A 15-year-old boy died Saturday after entering the Missouri River to rescue another boy, age 8.

Scott Olsen, interim chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, said the attempted rescue occurred on the east side of the Missouri River, about a mile downriver from the Huntsdale boat ramp.

The boys, whose names have not been released, had been on a sandbar with a group of people. It isn't clear whether the 8-year-old fell or jumped into the water. The 15-year-old went in to retrieve him. The 8-year-old surfaced and came back to shore, but the 15-year-old did not.

An emergency call was placed at 4:28 p.m., and the first responders arrived on the scene at 4:39. A University Hospital helicopter was requested by responders. Rescue operations were staged from the Huntsdale boat ramp, near the Katfish Katy Campground.

Olsen said that within minutes of disappearing, the boy was found along the shore. He was unresponsive. A private boat went to the boy's location, took the boy onboard and began CPR. The boat headed toward the Huntsdale boat ramp and was met by a Fire District water rescue boat with members of the helicopter crew on board. The helicopter crew and one firefighter boarded the private boat and took over efforts to revive him.

At 5:19 p.m. the boy was airlifted to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:20.

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Charles Dudley Jr August 16, 2009 | 3:53 p.m.

What a tragic story and prayers out to the family and friends of this young hero.

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