Idaho News

His girlfriend was drowning, so Idaho teen jumped into a river. She survived. He didn't.

Marcos Gil, a 17-year-old from Arimo, Idaho, drowned on April 28 as he saved his girlfriend from the Portneuf River near Lava Hot Springs. A GoFundMe has been arranged for his funeral expenses.
Marcos Gil, a 17-year-old from Arimo, Idaho, drowned on April 28 as he saved his girlfriend from the Portneuf River near Lava Hot Springs. A GoFundMe has been arranged for his funeral expenses. Via GoFundMe

An Idaho teenager is being hailed as a "true hero" after he drowned on Saturday, April 28, as he saved his girlfriend from a swift-moving river, according to reports from KIFI and the Idaho State Journal.

Marcos Gil, 17, of Arimo, was walking along the Portneuf River near Lava Hot Springs with his girlfriend (who has not been identified) when the pair decided to go for a swim, the girl's mother told the Journal. The girl "almost immediately started being sucked under by the river's current, causing Gil to jump into the river and save her," the paper reported.

"During this courageous and amazing act of selflessness, he was able to get underneath her and push her up toward the surface," the girl's parents wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Gil's funeral.

According to the Journal, the girl called 911, prompting a three-hour search from Bannock County sheriff's deputies and scuba dive team. Though the girl was not physically injured, her mother said she was "clearly traumatized" by watching Gil drown.

"My daughter was saved but tragically, Marcos was pulled under by the strong current and did not survive. ... Unfortunately, we cannot express our gratitude to Marcos so we have set up this page to financially help his family through this tragedy," the girl's family wrote on GoFundMe.com.

By Monday morning, nearly $3,000 had been raised, one-fifth of the total goal for the fundraiser.

Bannock County officials have warned that spring snowmelt is making the Portneuf and Snake rivers extremely cold, swift and dangerous, the Journal reported. East Idaho residents are being asked to keep kids and pets away from the water.

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