Elmore County Sheriff: Bystander who pulled boy from Snake River is a hero

newsroom@idahostatesman.comJuly 7, 2014 

A Mountain Home family lost two men Sunday while fishing.

The family was near a boat ramp on the Snake River just east of the Loveridge Bridge on Idaho 51 in Elmore County when a boy fell in the water.

Jose Jorge Barroso-Alfaro, 37, jumped in after his 8-year-old son. His brother, Martin Barroso-Alfaro, 35, also jumped in. The men were fully clothed and had on shoes, said Elmore County Sheriff Rick Layher.

“They just reacted. They wanted to save the boy,” Layher said. “They were definitely not thinking about their own safety.”

Neither man was a strong swimmer. The river’s current proved fatal.

“When your child goes in, people are going to do what they have to,” Layher said.

As the men struggled in the water, bystander Michael Feldmeier, 23, of Mountain Home, rushed to rescue the boy. It was no small feat to pull the boy to shore, the sheriff said, adding that the word “hero” is appropriate.

“It’s really a struggle when you pull someone in,” Layher said. “He had been swimming, so he was already tuckered out.”

The boy was treated at a hospital Sunday night and released.

Emergency personnel were summoned to the scene at 2:35 p.m. with a report of a possible drowning.

Feldmeier helped the Ada County Dive Team find the area where the two men were under the water, Layher said, which was 6 to 20 feet deep. The men were found around 8 p.m. about 80 feet from the shore.

“It’s a tragedy,” Layher said. “Both of the people that drowned had kids and wives and a lot of family. It’s going to be tough.”

View Boy's father, uncle drown in attempt to save 8-year-old who fell in Snake River in a larger map

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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