A mother has drowned trying to save her two children from a fast-flowing river, with one child hospitalized and the other still missing.
A mother and father were taking their four children on a family fishing trip in Newburyport, Massachusetts on Thursday when their six-year-old son and young daughter fell in.
The Amesbury Fire Department told NC Boston that the boy and his seven-year-old sister escaped into the Merrimack River.
Their mother, 29, went in to help them but sadly died.
A rescue operation for the six-year-old was shifted to a recovery-focused one on Friday before being completely suspended.
The family – who have not yet been named – had been fishing and swimming at Deer Island when the 31-year-old father went to their car to get something at 7pm.
When he returned he found that his boy had been swept away by strong tides as he tried to grab something in the water.
The boy’s mother and sister jumped into the river to save him but were also caught in the strong current, according to Massachusetts State Police.
The father returned from the family car, found his wife and daughter in the water and jumped after them but was unable to reach them after getting into trouble himself.
The current carried the mother and daughter inland, where a person in a boat saw them fighting and was able to pull them out, officials said.
The mother struggled to pull herself up and disappeared under the water.
The girl and her mother were taken to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport.
The seven-year-old was treated and released, but her mother sadly died after rescuers found her unresponsive and not breathing.
A search for the boy was suspended at 5 p.m. Friday pending new information, the Coast Guard said.
“Putting on a search and rescue case is always a difficult decision, and even more painful when children are involved,” said Capt. Kailie Benson, commander of the Coast Guard’s Boston Sector.
“Given the extensive search efforts by the Coast Guard and numerous state and local agencies, as well as local conditions, I have made the decision to suspend the search for the missing 6-year-old boy.”
“Our prayers are with the family and friends of the boy and the mother at this time,” Benson added.
Massachusetts State Police said they expect searches to resume Saturday after a 10-hour search on Friday.
The search included the coast guard, harbor masters, state police, local police and fire brigade, and state environmental police.
About 10 state police divers were deployed and helicopters were seen combing the area.
The search is now focused on the part of the river from which the boy’s mother and sister were pulled.
Divers used sonar and were towed behind boats to search for the boy.
Newburyport Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said strong currents in the river presented challenges to the search mission.
He said conditions on Deer Island on the day the boy went missing were typical, noting the fast pace of the river.
“It gets pretty heavily used at this time of year. People have been known to fish off the edge of Deer Island,” he said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5539820/mom-drowns-fast-flowing-river-son-6-missing/ Mom drowns trying to save her two children from fast-flowing river while daughter, 7, is in hospital and son, 6, is missing