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TEEN DROWNS: Raccoon River Park Drowning

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What started out as a fun day at the beach ended in tragedy with a 17-year-old boy drowning in West Des Moines.  And authorities say it’s possible the tragedy could have been avoided.

The teen was swimming with friends Monday at the Raccoon River Park beach when he started to go under. Witnesses say he waved and shouted for help, but by the time help arrived it was too late.

“It appears they were beyond the blue and white safety buoys, they were attempting to swim out to the no-wake buoy, one of the white ones that you see in the water.” says West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell,  “At some time that they were beyond that rope, the individual did get into some type of distress.”

There are no lifeguards at the beach.  Authorities say swimmers are expected to stay within the buoys. 

Police have not released the victim’s name pending notification of family.

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