Boy Drowns in Los Angeles River

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 |

On Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 1:53 PM, eleven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two LAFD Helicopters, one LAFD Swift Water Rescue Team, two LAFD Dive Teams, one LAFD Rehab Unit, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, one Division Chief Officer Command Team and Los Angeles Police Department resources, including the LAPD Underwater Dive Unit, under the Unified Command of Los Angeles Police and Fire Department Command Officers, responded to a Water Rescue and Recovery Effort near 1555 North San Fernando Road in the Los Angeles community of Glassell Park.

According to witnesses, a group of young teens had been playing immediately adjacent to the Los Angeles River, when one youth, reportedly in an attempt to retrieve a fishing pole, fell into the slow moving and murky water of the urban flood control channel, instantly slipping beneath the surface.

The remaining children, who were reportedly his siblings, flagged down a passing Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crew who in turn summoned rescuers via the utility's communications center.

A seasonally appropriate still water rescue response brought highly trained ground-based and airborne LAFD crews immediately to the scene, as they were subsequently joined by LAFD dive teams ferried by Fire Department helicopter to the locale.

In a well-rehearsed and seamless fashion, Firefighters were soon joined by and working alongside Los Angeles Police Officers, including one of twelve LAPD Underwater Dive Unit members dispatched to the scene.

Working strategically and in close coordination with LAFD Helicopters and Water Rescue trained Firefighters along the shore, the underwater rescue and recovery effort continued unabated in zero-visibility conditions for more than two hours, as the joint Police and Fire Department Dive Team meticulously searched the location in a grid-like fashion.

At 4:01 PM, divers located the submerged and lifeless body of the boy a short distance downstream from where he was last seen. Beyond the help of medicine, Firefighter/Divers declared him deceased at the scene.

As multiple media helicopters circled overhead and camera crews closely surrounded the recovery site, dive team members went to great lengths to respect and protect the boy's dignity, shrouding him underwater and laboriously bringing his remains to a shoreside canopy shelter.

The many emergency responders who entered or who were exposed to the brackish water, including the dive team, were systematically rinsed at the scene by LAFD Hazardous Materials experts well-versed in such procedures.

There were no responder injuries reported.

Firefighters were not able to ascertain the boy's swimming skills or whether he sustained a specific injury or entanglement in the fall. Los Angeles Police Officers handled notification of next of kin, while offering compassionate support to the child witnesses and extended family of the victim.

A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by Coroner's officials.

(images) (slideshow) (video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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7 comments:

Ashley said...

It is uplifting to read about how well the LAFD and LAPD worked together on this very sad incident. I am pleased to read that the agencies involved protected the young man from the media cameras.

I am sure that this incident was very traumatic to the first responders and to friend / extended family member who witnessed this terrible event.

My heart goes out to the young man's love ones and to the first responders.

angel lafd said...

Wanted to give my sympathy to the boy's family and the LAFD for trying everything they can to find the boy. A job well done to FS50 and FS40 for giving all their effort, they never gave up....

Anonymous said...

The boy was my friend, i send my love and sympathy to the boy and his family, i give my thanks to the police officers and firemen, he will be loved and remembered
R.I.P

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Ashley and Angel, thanks for the comments.

Dear Boy's Friend,

Please know that Firefighters and Police Officers did all they could on Tuesday to help your friend, and remain very sad about what happened.

We join you in sending sympathy to his family and to his many friends. Since yesterday, we have learned many things about him, especially how much he liked his friends.

Please always remember that his goodness and friendship will remain in your heart forever.

If you need to talk about things that happened that day, or how you are still feeling about them (and if you're like us, you remain quite sad), please reach out to your teacher or counselor at school or someone in charge at your place of worship.

Please know that there are a lot of places and programs where you can meet with special counselors and other kids your age to discuss what's on your mind.

To find such programs near you, all you need to do is call 2-1-1. If you're under 18, it's probably a good idea to discuss any or all of the above with a parent or guardian before you call or reach out for help outside your home.


Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Andres was a student of mine in the after school program. He was an aewsome kid, smart, nice, and very kind...My love, respect and sympathy goes out to his family and and loved ones....may he rest in peace. You will be missed....

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU LAFD MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS.....WE LOVE AND MISS ANDRES SOOO MUCH, I HOPE YOU KNOW THAT...AT LEAST HE'S UP IN HEAVEN LOOKING DOWN AND TAKING CARE OF HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY, HE WOULD HAVE APPRICIATED THE HELP OF FIRE FIGHTERS AND POLICEMEN TRIENG TO SAVE HIM, HE WAS A COOL KID,TOUGH ON THE OUTSIDE BUT SWEET ON THE INSIDE.. EVERYONE LOVED HIM...ME AND THE REST OF HIS FRIENDS ARE STILL IN SHOCK OVER THE THOUGHT THAT HE'S GONE, BUT HE'LLBE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER AND HERE WITH US IN SPIRIT....TO ANOUNYMOUS TEACHER...SCHOOL WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITH HIM GONE, BUT WE HAVE MEMORIES, I AGAIN SEND MY LOVE AND SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ESPECIALLY HIS BROTHER AND SISTER WHO WERE THERE WITH HIM AND TRIED TO HELP HIM, I LOVE AND MISS YOU ANDRES, REST IN PEACE MAN,YOUR GONE,BUT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, WE LOVE YOU

Anonymous said...

its so wierd how i never once talked to him being so close to everyone he was close to...his brother and his girlfriend who are and have been my closest and best friends.......this was a very sad and unfortunate event and every year we remember him espeacially on his birthday as if he were still here....andres will be missed and will always be loved!

R.I.P.

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