COLUMBIA — Corey Ryan Morris, a 15-year-old boy from Columbia, 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 had been boating with a group of 15 to 20 people, including Morris' mother and father. They boys were playing near the water when the 8-year-old was swept into the river. Morris went in to retrieve him and was able to help the 8-year-old back to shore, but Morris himself did not make it back.
An emergency call was placed at 4:28 p.m. Responders en route requested a University Hospital helicopter after individuals on the scene notified them that Morris had been found and that he was unconscious. The first responders arrived on the scene at 4:39.
Rescue operations were staged from the Huntsdale boat ramp, near the Katfish Katy Campground.
Olsen said that within minutes of disappearing, Morris was found in shallow water along the shore, unresponsive. The Morris' boat went to the boy's location, took Morris on board 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. A firefighter boarded the private boat and took over efforts to revive him.
Cpl. Chris Lester of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said statements made at the scene by family members indicated that Morris had been underwater for 4 to 6 minutes.
Rescuers efforts to revive Morris at the scene were unsuccessful. At 5:19 p.m., Morris was airlifted to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:20.