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10-year-old girl drowns after 4 children swept away by Tokachi River in Hokkaido

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A 10-year-old girl drowned on Tuesday after she and three friends were swept away while playing in the Tokachi River in Otofune Town near Obihiro City. The dead girl was identified as Azuka Manabe.

According to Obihiro Police, Manabe and three friends from her soccer club and their families, had come to the area to enjoy the Golden Week vacation. The four children were completely clothed while playing about six meters from the shore in an area where the riverbed suddenly drops off.

The children were swept away about 1:45 p.m. One child was able to swim to the shore, while the remaining three were swept downstream 50 to 500 meters before help arrived. By the time Manabe was rescued, she was already unconscious, and confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Immediately after the incident, a 35-year-old Obihiro City resident who witnessed the event said, "There were several fire trucks parked on the riverbank and it was just chaos... it was really shocking." The man commented that, while water levels were higher than normal because of all the melted snow, "It didn't seem really dangerous out there. It's sad, because there's never been an accident like that around here before."

According to the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau Obihiro Rivers Office, water levels on the Tokachi River had begun to rise in mid-April. Levels on Tuesday were 26 centimeters higher than they were on April 28.

The incident occurred in a hot springs tourist area about 10 kilometers east of JR Obihiro Station on the Nemuro Line.

© News reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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A sad tragedy. Great that families take their kids to such a nice place though...better than playing video games. I wonder if the kids had swimming lessons?

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My hobby is whitewater kayaking, I often see camping families with small children along the river edge, of fast flowing rivers. If an adult, never mind a child falls into the river, unless they are wearing a PFD (life jacket), there is a high risk of drowning. I'd advise any parent camping riverside to ensure their kids wear PFDs at all times.

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Great that families take their kids to such a nice place though

And let them play in a river unsupervised resulting in the death of one of these lucky kids. They were better off at home playing video games. At least that is a slow death.

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Of course I don't advocate unsupervised play in dangerous places, although it was a norm when I was a kid. But come on, do you really think kids are better off inside?

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do you really think kids are better off inside?

Nah, they are better off dead, right?

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do you really think kids are better off inside?

I think the results of this incident adequately answers this question.

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do you really think kids are better off inside?

I think the results of this incident adequately answers this question.

They got to come outside sometime. Those who have no experience outside will land in a WHOLE bunch more trouble. I would not be surprised if the parents were indoor types who chose a really bad place for their kids to play and gave them no warnings about the area. And no, playing video games at home will not give you those skills. And they still have to go outside sometime.

Avoidance of the outdoors will result in more accidents that get more and more silly as people get stupid about being outside.

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I think the results of this incident adequately answers this question.

I second that.

Sad to hear that she passed away. RIP little one.

And no ammount of swimming lessons are going to help a 10-year-old battle a river being swept down stream.

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And no amount of swimming lessons are going to help a 10-year-old battle a river being swept down stream.

That's right, however, adequate supervision would have. I'm not saying it's the result of careless parenting, but I all too often read sad reports like this that were completely preventable. Obviously the parents were not aware of the dangers of where the children were playing. If this is a popular camping/picnicking area there should at least of been signs warning of the dangers. If it is a secluded area the parents should have been supervising the kids more strictly. Either way, it is not the kid's fault.

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"I'm not saying it's the result of careless parenting..."

I'll be happy to step in and say that that's directly the reason for this accident. What were the adults doing at the time? My guess is sitting around a small BBQ drinking Asahi and grilling so me Saba, content so long as they could hear sounds from the general area the kids had run off to, be it laughter or gurgling.

It seems pretty common sense to me that you go check out where the kids are going to play if they're going to play somewhere, and you're not familiar with the area. After that one of the parents should STILL have to suck it up, or take turns sucking it up, lay off the hooch and BBQ, and put in some time watching the kids.

Finally, are there no signs indicating the danger of the riverbed dropping off? If not, then the municipality/prefecture is also at fault and should at the very least rectify that immediately. If there ARE signs, the parents are even MORE to blame for what happened.

Poor child. I'm happy at least the other two were rescued in time. RIP, little girl.

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