16-year-old boy drowns in river in Oita Prefecture


A 16-year-old boy drowned in a river in Usa, Oita Prefecture, on Saturday.

According to police, the boy, Ko Nakashima, and three high school classmates were swimming in the Yakkan River at around 2 p.m., local media reported. Nakashima was swimming in the middle of the river when he was swept away by a current, his friends told police.

A rescue team found his body about two hours later. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5 p.m.

The river is about 125 meters wide and two meters deep at the spot where the boys were swimming.

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6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sigh... I wish we didn't have to hear about this kind of preventable accident every summer. RIP.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sad tragedy, hopefully his family and friends will have proper support to deal with his death. And maybe something can be done to reduce the yearly occurrence of these fatalities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So sad to hear. Brings back memories of the summer I graduated from HS. A friend and I swam across a similar sized river. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was shocked at how powerful the water was. It looked slow moving, but I was exhausted by the time I reached shore. I was lucky. RIP

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Every parent should teach their children to swim. This is a bunch of islands, full of rivers with frequent flooding.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Every parent should teach their children to swim.

Perhaps, but these kinds of drownings generally involve kids who can swim. It's the danger of the currents and temperatures that is usually the problem. Weird, but it's kids who know they can't swim that are unlikely to get into these "swimming in the river" deaths.

I'm not sure if such deaths can be described as "preventable". How to prevent?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can something be done ? I hope so.

In the UK, I often saw simply a "No Swimming" sign on river banks, and sometimes, together with a warning of "Dangerous Currents".

I think the best place to start with, would be within Schools.

Schools have an opportunity to help Children understand the dangers of some activities - when I was a Kid, I remember seeing Videos shown of activities deemed to be dangerous - something like, don't go get your ball/frisbee from within the local power-substation, or you could end up being fried... I still remember that one, to this day (wow!)

The same could be done here, for activities like swimming in local rivers, at least teaching Kids about currents, and similarly when at the seaside, what a riptide is. Maybe it's already being done...I've never checked with my Kids ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I grew up with the ocean and can handle most kind of its conditions - but rivers terrify me. They are unrelenting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Good (and all others who've made comments), it's truly sad that a young lad lost his life. I will not blame his swimming training, nor the conditions of the day, but as a lifelong swimmer (since 6 years of age and now 68) I've been in lakes (safe as can be), oceans (terribly dangerous sometimes) and rivers (equally as life-threatening as the oceans I've been in), but I have to ask perhaps a stupid question - the river was 2 meters high, and 125 meters wide; it may have been swift-flowing, but when I learned to co-exist in the waters I was trained to 'go with the flow', as my Red Cross instructor admonished. I cannot, in all conscience, blame the boy for panicking and losing his life, perhaps trying his damndest to swim against the current, but I have to ask a question: Since Japan is a relatively small country - you can fit eight of it's area in my province of British Columbia - and I've visited often enough to see rather shallow but strongly flowing rivers - I still shake my head and wonder why he couldn't go with the flow. Except to believe he had no true training, and that is what brought about this tragedy. I am sorry for his family. Truly sorry. He deserved better. Pass along the knowledge to your children, if you have any. I do, and at 34 years of age she's highly accomplished in the water and a good surfer to boot. But this story still makes me sad for his family. Very sad. He had a life. His friends are undoubtedly devastated. Let's think about them, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every parent should teach their children to swim. This is a bunch of islands, full of rivers with frequent flooding.

not sure if you can read or not.....but it says that the boy was swimming in the I assume his parents, who live on these islands, taught him to swim and that he was in fact swimming at the time of the incident, where he was swept away while swimming in the river....swimming

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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