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3-year-old boy drowns while father does river clean-up work in Kochi Pref

13 Comments

A three-year-old boy drowned on Sunday while his father was doing clean-up work at a river as part of a volunteer group project.

According to police, the 39-year-old father called 110 at around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, reporting that his son was missing by the Kuma River in Hadaminamicho, Kochi City.

Police and firefighters searched the river and found the boy underwater after about 30 minutes. He was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead due to drowning, Sankei Shimbun reported. Police believe the boy accidentally fell into the river.

The river clean-up was part of a volunteer project by locals living near seven rivers in the prefecture. The Kuma River clean-up commenced at around 6:30 a.m. The father and his son were cutting river reeds and picking up trash when the boy apparently wandered off.

 The spot where the boy’s body was found is approximately 1.4 meters deep.

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13 Comments
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Another preventable tragedy. There needs to be a JA commercial, “Babies and toddlers do not understand “danger”. Protect them from it. Keep hold of their hands and supervise round vehicles, water, cliffs and drops."

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Condolences to this family. How devastated they must be.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

How does someone get over that. I really feel for the parents. There is an expression, you can down in a glass of water. That's all it takes to drown, just means we all, adults and children should take extra care near water

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tragic! I guess nobody volunteered to watch the kids.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

From the Japanese reports I read, this "volunteer" work sounds like a neighbourhood-led cleanup. I get fined 3000 yen if I don't attend ones in my neighbourhood. It was the standard in inaka pattern of an early start, grass-cutting (bring your own two stroke weed whacker) and trash pickup. I have to do grass cutting six or seven times a year.

You'd have to check, but there is the possibility that the father had to be there and there was no-one at home to look after the child. Since its a load of neighbours doing communal work, children would not be expected and there would be no-one to look after them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You'd have to check, but there is the possibility that the father had to be there and there was no-one at home to look after the child. Since its a load of neighbours doing communal work, children would not be expected and there would be no-one to look after them.

The article says the boy was there with him at the river, not at home.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

seriously who takes there kid to river when they know theyre not going to be watching them 100% of the time. People teach your kids to swim, earlier the better, and if your around water watch your kids 100% of the time, only takes 2 minutes and your kids are dead! father and family will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

But for the grace of God did I avoid that raising my boy. One must balance safety and the education a rigerous outdoor experience offers. My son is 25 now and very adventurous but quite áware of the dangers. Do take your lads out; do not take your eyes off them, even for a moment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My lord... Why would you take your toddler with you to do work on the river? Obviously he wasn't watching the child carefully, so this is a case of neglect at best, and he should be charged with neglect resulting in death.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The father and his son were cutting river reeds and picking up trash when the boy apparently wandered off.

Wait, so the 3 year old was being made to work, too? Or was there another son involved?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In inaka, there are community jobs that people have to do. Coerced volunteering. If you read the Japanese reports, this is very likely to be one of them. The man was not there out of choice.

It is assumed in Japan that every household has a housewife or grandparent nearby. So parents can be given compulsory chores without thinking about who will look after the children. Single parents and working people don't get a pass, and there is no childcare available at 7am on a Sunday. It is possible here that the man took the child out of "heiwa boke", naive carelessness/ignorance of danger, but it is also possible that there was no one at home else to look after the child. I have seen single mothers doing PTA chores who've left their younger children at home alone. Perhaps the lesson here should be that parents should look after children, not clean up rivers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Daddy's priorities were in the wrong place. Tragic and totally preventable. RIP little boy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RIP little boy..The father is defiantly to blame here who takes their toddler anywhere near water and doesn't keep a hawks eye on them its a golden rule of parenting..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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