Drowning Man Fears He May Harm Rescuer

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UPDATE:  Joshua Storie has sadly died from a water rescue attempted this week on the Bourbeuse River.  Storie refused help, fearing he would pull his rescuer under with him.

Donations:

Anyone wishing to help the Storie family with the expenses they have been left with can make a check out to the Joshua Storie Benefit Fund and send it to the Bank of Washington, P.O. Box 377, Washington, Mo 63090.
Donations made in person can be made at any Bank of Washington branch.

UNION, MO (KTVI) - He was in trouble on the Bourbeuse River Tuesday afternoon. When his 18-year-old friend extended a hand to save him, the man struggling to stay above water refused to hold on.

Apparently the man who was struggling to stay above water feared he would pull his friend in as well.

Jim Strube is the father of that 18-year-old who tried to rescue the man in his 30`s.  Strube says the man wondered into water that was too deep.

"My son saw him going under and then spring boarding off the bottom, coming back up and trying to gasp a breath of air," said Strube.

Firefighters from Pacific and the Boles Fire Protection District found the man about a mile downstream.

Strube says his sons performed CPR before the man was rushed to an area hospital.  As of Tuesday night he was in critical condition.

Strube was amazed that the man was willing to sacrifice his own life to keep the 18 year old safe.

"He was afraid he was going to take my son in with him," explained Strube.  "He went under and washed down the river."

The Boles Fire Protection District showed us the throw-bag they use when making a water rescue.  It can clip onto a firefighters belt, then they throw the bag for a victim to grab.  It`s a way to keep firefighters from being pulled under during a rescue.

The department`s fire chief suggests throwing something that floats to someone in trouble.  He says a fishing poll or a long tree branch can also work if the victim can grab them.   He says avoid grabbing someone who is drowning because they could pull you under as well.

The department`s public information officer says it`s also important to take precautions before heading to the river.

"Pay attention to your rivers and wear flotation devices," said Clare Swann.  "You never know what`s underneath the water."

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