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Teenager Drowns In Current River

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

National Park News

On the morning of Sunday, July 4th, a 14-year-old boy from Mounds, Illinois, was swimming in the Current River near the Big Spring Campground with his aunt and cousins when he lost his shoe and entered the swift current in an attempt to retrieve it, despite his aunt’s instructions to swim back to the bank.  The swift rapids quickly carried him downstream into deeper water. His aunt entered the water but was unable to reach her nephew due to the swift current. Two men who were camped near the location heard the cries for help and immediately responded in a boat. They found the boy approximately 200 yards downstream from where he was last seen and pulled him from the water. A registered nurse who was camped at the Big Spring Campground also heard the commotion and responded. The nurse immediately started CPR and the boy was transported to the boat landing, where protection rangers and other NPS employees arrived to help. A ranger used an AED and delivered two shocks to the boy while CPR was being performed. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance and medical helicopter arrived on scene.  Paramedics continued CPR, but all efforts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead. Lower Current District Ranger Martin Towery was IC.


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