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15-Year-Old Boy Drowns In Tacony Creek

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todd-quinones-web Todd Quinones
Todd Quinones joined CBS 3 as a general assignment reporter in J...
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By Todd Quinones

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Police are worried more kids could die this summer if they don’t stay out of area creeks.

Police call Monday’s drowning tragic, sad and absolutely preventable.

Philadelphia police officers and firefighters jumped into the Tacony Creek to try and pull the teen out of the muddy water.

“There wasn’t much of a current. We couldn’t see the bottom. We just had to feel along the bottom,” Philadelphia Firefighter John Faulls said.

Just before 6 p.m., four teenagers were swimming in a dangerous spot along the Tacony Creek on Fisher’s Lane just off Ramona Avenue in Juanita Park.

A 15-year-old boy went under a bridge in about 8 to 10 feet of water.

Police say he couldn’t swim.

“He went under and did not resurface,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

After initial attempts failed, firefighters did find the 15-year-old and pulled him out hoping to save his life.

“He was completely unconscious. He was put in the back of a rescue squad, medics workers on him and they worked on him for a long time, but tragically he was pronounced dead,” Small said.

The 15-year-old lived just a few blocks away.

Despite signs warning people to stay out, this remains a popular place for kids to cool off.

But police say the seemingly tranquil surface hides deadly dangers.

The muddy waters conceal rocks, tree branches, even shopping carts under water.

“I grew up about two blocks away. I think I can actually see the house where I grew up, and this was notorious back here for a bad spot to swim,” Faulls said.

“It’s totally different than a swimming pool where the water is calm, you can see the bottom, and with a swimming pool there is often lifeguards on location,” Small said.

Detectives interviewed the three other teens who survived and tried to help.

At this point this appears to have been an accidental drowning.

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