Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

 

 

Emergency crews are now in a recovery mode for an 11-year-old boy who went missing in the North Platte River this afternoon, a Casper Fire-EMS spokesman said.

"We're pretty much in body recovery now," David Lundahl said late Monday afternoon.

Personnel from seven agencies began searching about 2 p.m. after receiving the call of the 11-year-old and his 8-year-old brother who slipped into the current near the Tate Pumphouse, Lundahl said.

"They got in where they could not touch," Lundahl said.

"The 11-year-old is a swimmer; the 8-year-old is not," he told reporters. "The 11-year-old was trying to save his little brother, push him toward shore. They actually got pulled in one of the current eddies up stream, 10 to 20 yards."

The 8-year-old was swept downstream and picked up by by two boaters in a raft about 100 yards downstream, Lundahl said.

He was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for observation, he said.

Agencies involved include Casper Fire-EMS, Casper Police Department, Mills Police Department, Natrona County Sheriff's Office, the Wyoming Medical Center with its Life Flight helicopter, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Fire Rehab from the Casper-Natrona County Health Department.

From the foot bridge by the Tate Pumphouse downstream, Lundahl said searchers were looking at the back currents, rocks and other places where someone could be caught.

The cold water could have slowed down the boy's metabolism and crews hoped they might find him within a couple of hours, he said.

But by 5 p.m., the focus had shifted, and several of the agencies had been released from the search, Lundahl said.

"We'll keep up the search until it becomes too dark for us to be in the water," Lundahl said.