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Teenage boy dies after going underwater in American Lake

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on July 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm with 8 Comments »
July 28, 2011 7:23 pm

UPDATE as of 7:15 p.m.: The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the boy as Robert Smith Jr. of Tacoma.

UPDATE: From our news partners at KIRO-TV:

A 13-year-old boy died Thursday after he disappeared while swimming at American Lake near Lakewood, West Pierce Fire and Rescue said.

Jenny Sharp from West Pierce said rescuers found the boy unconscious in the lake at about 5:45 p.m. They pulled him out of the water, started CPR and brought him to a waiting ambulance. He was later pronounced dead.

The boy was in the swimming area at the lake and disappeared, West Pierce said. Friends of the boy said five minutes passed and they didn’t see him.

The fire department had divers in the water and searched the shore in case the boy got out of the water and walked away.

Sharp said the boy had been in the water for at least 45 minutes when rescuers found him.

UPDATE: Divers found the boy in the water about 5:45 p.m. He was unconscious and not breathing, Sharp said. Medics immediately began CPR and transported him to a local hospital.

“His prognosis is grave,” Sharp said. “He was in the water for nearly 45 minutes.”

 

PREVIOUS POST: Divers are in the water near Harry Todd Park on American Lake, searching for a teenage boy reported missing by his friends.

Someone called 911 just after 4:30 p.m. to report the boy hadn’t been seen since jumping off a dock at the park’s swim area, Lakewood police Lt. Dave Guttu said.

A lifeguard went into the water to look for the boy but couldn’t locate him, Guttu said.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Jenny Sharp said authorities aren’t sure if the boy is still in the water or just left the park without telling his friends.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Geez kids, be careful out there…YOU ARE NOT INVINCIBLE! R.I.P.

  2. I was down there by that dock looking for a place to fish couple days ago..there were two teenage life guards – a guy and a girl..if they were there today they must feel pretty rotten about this.

    on hot days in the summer it’s off-limits to fishing

  3. The two lifeguards better feel aweful. There was no reason for this young gentlemen’s life to expire so early in life. These two lifeguards should have been doing their jobs. I hope the county and city and lifeguards fund a huge scholarship fund in the name of Robert Smith. RIP Robert, condolences to friends and family. I witnessed the sorrow and weepings at the lake today.

  4. The lifeguards probably do feel awful, but they are not there to babysit. They cannot watched and account for swimmer.

    Every heard of the buddy system? Yes his friends did alert the lifeguards, but not until he had been missing for five minutes….too late by then.

    Don’t put the blame on the lifeguards…

  5. GeronimoV says:

    To try and put the blame on the lifeguards is cruel and uncalled for. They did their job. If you were there, and were just rubber-necking, not doing anything to help, then you’d better be the one starting that scholarship fund and making the first big donation.

  6. I KNEW ROBERT HE WAS THE MOST FUNNIEST PERSON U COULD EVER MEET WE WENT TO SCHOOL TOGETHER I JUST WISH THEY COULD HAVE FOUND MY FRIEND FASTER BUT HES IN A BETTER PLACE NOW , THEY DID WHAT THEY COULD BUT HIS LIFES IN BETTER HANDS
    LOVE YOU ROBERT
    REST IN PEACE
    -Marche

  7. n0t_thatgirl says:

    So terribly tragic. My heart goes out to Robert’s family and friends, especially his parents. Losing a child is unimaginable. They’re in my prayers.

  8. tonnibell says:

    Thoughts and prayers are with this family! This lake seems to have alot of drownings each year. No blame on lifeguards……

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