Meridian girl is the week’s 7th drowning victim

Authorities say people should wear life jackets in the water regardless of swimming ability.

jsowell@idahostatesman.comJuly 27, 2013 

A 15-year-old Meridian girl taking part in a cross-country running camp died early Friday at a Boise hospital after a swimming accident the day before at Lake Cascade.

The girl, whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, was underwater for at least 10 minutes, according to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. Camp members and bystanders noticed she was under water and went to rescue her and take her to shore.

A camp chaperone who is a nurse administered CPR before the girl was taken to McCall Hospital. She was then taken by Life Flight helicopter to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise, where her condition worsened and she died at 1:55 a.m, the sheriff’s office said.

“It is tragic when these deaths happen,” said Valley County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Speer.

Anyone participating in water activities should wear a life jacket, regardless of swimming ability, Speer said.

It was at least the seventh death from water accidents since Saturday in Idaho and on the Snake River in Ontario.

Thursday evening, Gaelen C. “Connor” Mast, 19, from Kingston, drowned in Rose Lake in Coeur d’Alene. He was swimming with several friends when he failed to surface.

The friends pulled him from the water and emergency responders tried to revive him before airlifting him to Kootenai Health, where he died.

A 2-year-old boy drowned in an irrigation ditch Saturday during a family visit to his grandfather's house west of Sugar City. Fire officials said a rescuer pulled the boy from the water, but efforts to resuscitate him failed.

A 13-year-old boy died Sunday at Ontario after he fell from a railroad trestle into the Snake River while fishing.

A day earlier, 23-year-old Taylor R. Wood of Boise died while boogie-boarding on the Boise River.

Hours later, a Caldwell man swimming in the Snake River with another person drowned. The body of 28-year-old Daniel Bravo-Rodriguez was found Monday morning, about a mile downstream from where he disappeared near Payette’s Centennial Park.

Near Twin Falls, 42-year-old Chen Peir-Horng was swimming in Dierkes Lake when he went underwater at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Search and rescue teams who were training nearby pulled the man from the lake and began to do CPR. Despite their attempts, Peir-Horng died at a Twin Falls hospital Sunday evening.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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