Washington teen drowns in Chehalis River

Washington teen drowns in Chehalis River

Washington teen drowns in Chehalis River

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by KGW Staff, Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on June 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

CHEHALIS, Wash. -- The Lewis County sheriff's office says it has recovered the body of a 17-year-old Tacoma boy who drowned in the Chehalis River while swimming with friends.

The sheriff's office says the teen, who was originally from Nigeria and had only been in Washington for eight months, was on his first camping trip ever at Rainbow Falls State Park in Chehalis.

The group of friends went swimming Saturday afternoon at the nearby river.

The teen, who told friends he wasn't a good swimmer, began flailing after jumping into the water. Another friend jumped in after him but she wasn't able to reach him before he went under.

Rescuers searched for the boy until dark Saturday but couldn't find him.

Rescue teams from Thurston and Lewis Counties returned Sunday morning and located him.

"This is another tragic water-related fatality," said Sheriff Steve Mansfield of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office. "We are advising the public that whenever you are in areas of water, wear a flotation device if you aren't a good swimmer. Ninety percent of water-related fatalities could have been prevented by wearing a flotation device." 

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