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Man drops 2-year-old son into river; then goes missing while trying to rescue him


Police and firefighters in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, on Sunday morning resumed their search for a 41-year-old man who went missing on Saturday night after he jumped into a river to save for his two-year–old son whom he accidentally dropped into the river from a bridge.

According to police and witnesses, the incident occurred at Kinugawa Onsen Fureai Bridge at around 9 p.m. Fuji TV reported that Ryuji Yanbe was on the bridge, holding his son, watching a fireworks display. When he leaned over the bridge railing, the boy slipped from his grasp and fell about 10 meters into the river below. Yanbe immediately jumped into the river after his son but was apparently swept away by an undercurrent, police believe.

Witnesses called 110 and the boy was found on a riverbank about one hour later. He suffered light injuries but his life is in no danger because he fell onto some tree branches, police said Sunday.

Police said that at the time of the incident, the river was swollen due to heavy rain during the week.

Yanbe, his wife and their three children had come from Chiba Prefecture and were staying at the hot spring resort for the weekend.

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This is very sad

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He deserves to survive for saving his son.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Be careful, "Jakko", there is not a single word hinting that the father got to reach the child before or after being taken by the current.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yange was on the bridge, holding his son, watching a fireworks display. When he leaned over the bridge railing, the boy slipped from his grasp and fell about 10 meters into the river below.

Sorry, but he should not have been holding his on the top railing of a bridge in the first place. That's just an accident waiting to happen and, it did!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Horrible end to a family weekend away.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm very happy to hear the son survived the utter stupidity of he father. Holding a kid over a swollen river? I can understand wanting to enjoy the hanabi, but was ignoring common sense worth it?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I'm nervous as it is going to any high elevation place with my kids. I really feel for the father and any good father would do the same instantly jumping in after their child. A 2 year old surviving a 10 meter fall is a miracle in itself.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Lukily the boy surived...hope they find the father

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is there an update on this story?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How the 2 year old son managed to survive being swept down a swollen river which appears to have drowned the father is truly a miracle. I'm very saddened to see the father is missing and is most probably deceased. A very sad and tragic story indeed. Being at night simply made matters far worse for them both. I can only guess the father had something to do with his son surviving. He may have managed to throw him to safety before the river swept him away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Dukeleto - I can only guess the father had something to do with his son surviving.

You can guess any scenario you like. However, the fact is, his father had everything to do with the kids going in the river in the first place!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The baby surviving the 10m fall and reaching the banks safely is a miracle indeed! I hope that the father is found safely. He was courageous to jump in instantly as the baby fell and I pray for his safety. However, why was there a need to go to such a place at that late at night in the first place. I mean going to watch fireworks is always fun but the surrounding is so crowded and hazardous to babies. The time the incident occurred was around 9pm so personally I feel it's too late to keep a 2 year old baby outside in such a place. This is a common problem in Japan where there is a lack of babysitters and parents still want to enjoy themselves out late at night so they drag along babies with them. A bit of sacrifice of late night events by parents is needed here as babies should be the priority! Gone are the days when parents sacrificed so much for the safety of babies and children. More proper parenting skills needed to avoid these kinds of tragedies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


I have to disagree. Its not just the parents but 2 other kids they have to entertain as well.

And some of the few fun things like fireworks and festivals take place at night or are at least more enjoyable at night when it is cooler. I personally would feel worse dragging my little kids out in the hot sun during the day.

Unless there was something going on that wasn't mentioned in the article, this is just a case of a father being careless with his kid, and has nothing to do with the time of day or surroundings. I always take extra care when holding my 2 year old, because I never know when he's going to try to wriggle free.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Babies and young children are sometimes more suited to water survival than adults.

They are yet to be instilled with a fear of water, therefore relax and float when immersed. Some theories say that it is an instinctive reaction from floating in the womb during gestation.

Babies and young children also have less muscle mass and bone density, giving them higher buoyancy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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