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Tuesday, June 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Boy, 11, drowns trying to save his 17-year-old brother from drowning in Pend Oreille River

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 2, 2017, 9:58 p.m.

The Pend Oreille River near Metaline Falls, Washington. An 11-year-old boy drowned miles upstream in Bonner County, Idaho near the Morton Slough boat launch. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
The Pend Oreille River near Metaline Falls, Washington. An 11-year-old boy drowned miles upstream in Bonner County, Idaho near the Morton Slough boat launch. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

An 11-year-old boy drowned Tuesday in the Pend Oreille River in Bonner County after trying to save his 17-year-old brother from drowning.

Bonner County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Morton Slough boat launch area at about 4:15 p.m. on a report of a mother who was swimming with her two children but who could not locate either child in the water, according to a Bonner County Sheriff’s news release.

Deputies, along with a Bonner County Dive Team and nearby citizens, were able to find the 17-year-old and perform life-saving measures. He gained a pulse and was transported to Kootenai Medical Center. The 11-year-old boy was eventually found, but medical crews were not able to regain a pulse, the release states. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The mother told deputies the two boys were inexperienced swimmers and were wearing life jackets, but took them off, believing the water was shallow. The mother said the 17-year-old began to experience difficulties staying afloat and started to panic.

The mother entered the water and tried to help, but in his panic her son began to pull her under. She swam to shore and screamed for help.

Deputies say the 11-year-old then tried to assist his brother and started to struggle as well. People in the area heard the mother’s cries for help and were able to locate the 17-year-old and pull him to shore. Deputies say they immediately began CPR.

The 11-year-old was found later by the dive team in about 6 to 7 feet of water.

The 17-year-old is unconscious and in critical condition, deputies said.

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