— A 15-year-old boy from New York, described as a good swimmer
by his family, drowned Sunday afternoon in the Meramec River
in Castlewood State Park, officials said.
Green was the seventh victim in the past two years to die at
the exact same bend of the river about 300 yards from the
Isaiah was visiting his uncle and cousins who
live in St. Louis County, and the family was spending the
afternoon in the park, according to Missouri Water Patrol Sgt.
Bryan Parrott. Family members told authorities that Isaiah had
been wading in the river, which is only a couple of feet deep
near the beach, along with his 15-year-old cousin. His uncle
was watching the pair from the shore.
struggled in the silty river bottom as they drifted
downstream, and Isaiah tried to remove his water shoes when he
went under, Parrott said. Shortly after 3 p.m., his cousin
waded back to the shore and heard Isaiah's cries for help
before he submerged.
His uncle and cousin tried to rescue him but
became stuck in the mud. A park ranger arrived on the scene by
3:30, and about an hour later fire and rescue teams from
around the area began a search.
Isaiah's body was
recovered at 5 p.m. in 12 feet of water, Parrott said. His
parents in New York told officials they had a pool in their
backyard and their son was a strong swimmer.
swimmers can drown," said Lou Amighetti, a spokesman for the
Water Patrol. He said the recent spate of drowning in this
same part of the river did not mean it was
"Rivers are not necessarily any more dangerous
than the public swimming pool," he said.
He said the
key to avoiding accidents required following safety
guidelines, such as: swimming with a buddy, keeping close
adult supervision and wearing a personal flotation device.
About 300 to 400 people swim every weekend in the same
waterway as the recent drownings, he said.
swimmers, Pete Martinez, 18, of Chesterfield, does not wear a
life jacket when he goes in the river. He was visiting the
park Sunday and says he does not wear a life jacket because
"I'm 18, and I know how to swim, and I'm pretty good at it."
The park remained open Sunday, with just the accident
area cordoned off during the recovery. A group of about five
small children splashed in a shallow part of the river because
they were blocked off from the area they normally visit due to
Their mothers watched from a picnic
table while the little ones splashed and waded in the water.
Blanca Dela Torre, 27, of St. Louis, says they
probably will be back in the larger swimming area next
weekend. She says news of the drowning scared her but the
adults keep a close eye on the children when they are in the
On Sunday, none of the children was wearing a
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