Father drowns saving son on the Toutle River - KPTV - FOX 12

Father drowns saving son on the Toutle River

Posted: Updated: Aug 02, 2015 01:37 PM

A man drowned on the Toutle River while he was attempting to save his 9-year-old son, according to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office. 

According to deputies, at 3:16 p.m. Saturday a Toutle firefighter was flagged down at Milepost 19 on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. The person reported that there had been a drowning near that location.

Police said the victim, identified as 35-year-old Benjamin Brooks of Toledo, had been underwater for approximately 30 minutes by that time. Toutle firefighters, Castle Rock firefighters, Cowlitz County sheriff's deputies and Cowlitz Dive Rescue members responded to the scene.

It was discovered that Brooks, his wife and their kids were swimming in the area when their son began to struggle in the water. Police said that Brooks, along with his wife and daughter, jumped into the water to help the boy. All four reportedly struggled to swim and stay afloat. 

Deputies said none of the family members were wearing life jackets. 

Investigators said the 9-year-old was climbing on his father, who managed to push the boy toward the shore. Brooks' wife, daughter and son were able to get back to shore safely. However, deputies said Brooks went underwater and did not come back up. 

The dive team located the man's body underwater near the point where he was last seen. 

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