Japan Today

13-year-old boy drowns while trying to save sister in river


A 13-year-old boy drowned while trying to save his 11-year-old sister who had gotten into difficulty while swimming in a river in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 3:30 p.m. The boy, Shoma Watanabe, his sister and a classmate had gone to the river near their home to swim. When his sister got into difficulty, Shoma tried to save her but a strong current apparently dragged him under, police said.

Shoma's sister made it back to the riverbank. The other boy called 119 and emergency personnel found Shoma in a state of cardio-pulmonary arrest on the river bottom at a depth of about 1.5 meters. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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Poor kid. The river was obviously too strong and too deep for children to be playing in, especially unsupervised.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

This is so tragic


11 ( +11 / -0 )

I think the headline should read 13 and not 3.

Moderator: Yes, it has been corrected. Thank you.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Absolutely tragic. If there is one tiny piece of comfort the parents can take away from this tragedy, it's that their son passed away a hero.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This sort of thing happens all too often

8 ( +8 / -0 )

He died a hero trying to save his sister. Kids in Japan need a lot more swim and water safety training. There are so many rivers and beaches in Japan swimming should be a major part of a child’s education. A requirement for graduating elementary (primary) school in Australia is to be able to tread water for five minutes and swim 50 meters.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan is surrounded by sea. Everybody should be able to swim or at least understand sea, lakes and rivers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

2 min silence for Shoma.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

13 and 11 are way too young to be swimming unsupervised.

Even if they were accomplished swimmers (which they were not), accidents happen: heatstroke, cold shock response, bites and so on...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So tragic..

Rivers aren't for kids..

And kids swimming unsupervised..

An avoidable death...

Guys, keep an eye on your kids ALWAYS!!..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If only swimming schools in Japan focused on teaching kids to swim instead of just taking in as much money as possible for as long as possible...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As well as swimming, teaching/learning CPR for drowning might've been of help.

For emergencies like this, it might've served while waiting for ambulance...

What a brave young man, to give his life to save his sisters'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The boy, Shoma Watanabe

He was a boy, but he died a LEGEND! I salute you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which society needs helps?

Which person does?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jesus, take precautions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a tragic loss for his parents and his little sister, he will always be a hero in her eyes, and quite rightly...RIP Shoma.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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