Youth dies in drowning accident

| August 5, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint youth died in a Tuesday afternoon drowning accident near Popsicle Bridge.

City officials said a Sandpoint Police officer was notified at 2 p.m. that the 7-year-old boy was missing at 400 East Mountain View Drive near the popular sport at the north end of Sandpoint.

Family members at the scene reported that the missing child was last seen sitting on the rocks at the edge of Sand Creek, city officials said in a press release. First responders from Selkirk Fire, Bonner County EMS, Sandpoint and Ponderay Police and Bonner County Sheriff’s Office responded and began searching for the child, who was not visible from the shoreline or the bridge.

The missing child was located after a search by two members of the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team under 12 to 15 feet of water. Visibility in the water was very low, officials said.

The child was not wearing a flotation device and family members reported that he did not know how to swim.

Bonner County EMS started life saving measures and the child was transported to Bonner General Health where he was pronounced deceased. There were no visible signs of trauma.

Names will not be released at this time pending family notification.

With the high temperatures in the past week, there has been an increase in water activities in and around Sandpoint, city officials said.

“We want to remind everyone that a person can begin to drown in less than 20 seconds,” Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon said. “Swimming in natural bodies of water requires more knowledge and additional skills than using a swimming pool. Many of our bodies of water, including Sand Creek, have deep holes and debris that can’t be seen from the surface.”

Sandpoint officials asks people to be mindful of those around them while they are in and around the water. The Centers for Disease Control reports that drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths of children 14 years of age and younger.