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North Idaho teenager dies following swimming accident

Fri., July 13, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

A North Idaho teenager pulled from the bottom of an old mill pond Wednesday died Friday morning, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office reported.

August (A.J.) Marksworth, 16, of Spirit Lake, died around 8:30 a.m., a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

Marksworth was found unconscious in water about eight feet deep 5 to 10 minutes after he slipped under the surface of the lake’s mill pond late Wednesday afternoon. He and a friend, Nathan Thiers, 15, also of Spirit Lake, had been wading in the water when Marksworth stepped into a deep spot, the sheriff’s office. Family members told deputies the teen was not a good swimmer and couldn’t tread water.

Thiers tried to pull Marksworth to shallower water, but both became tired and let go of each other. Marksworth then sank to the bottom, the sheriff’s office said.

Marine Deputy Bob Bjelland, a former Navy diver, was flagged down soon after the incident and had a private boat take him out to the scene. Within minutes he brought Marksworth to the surface, with the assistance of a boat from Northern Lakes Fire District and bystanders.

Thiers was treated and released from Kootenai Medical Center.

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