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Top Stories for June 29, 2012
St. George boy drowns in Supai Canyon
Coconino County Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating the apparent drowning death of a 16-year-old boy who was visiting Supai Canyon with his Boy Scout troop from Utah.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Police Officers who are assigned to Supai Canyon and death investigators of the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office are assisting with the investigation.
According to a BIA Police Officer, at about 2:09 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, their office received the report of a visitor to the canyon who was a possible drowning victim in a pool of water at Mooney Falls. A medical doctor and nurse from the Supai Medical Center and BIA Police Officers immediately responded to Mooney Falls.
Investigation has revealed the 16-year-old boy, identified as Kreg Harrison Jr. of St. George, Utah, had recently arrived in Supai Canyon with his Boy Scout Troop (Green Valley Sixth Ward Scout Troop 1800). The group was composed of twelve adults and 19 boys.
Harrison and three other scouts were swimming in the pool of water immediately below Mooney Falls. According to the boys who were swimming with Kreg, they were attempting to swim near to or underneath Mooney Falls. Investigators describe the pool beneath the falls as about five feet deep, with a very strong undercurrent beneath and in the immediate area of the falls.
The boys saw Harrison struggle and go under the water. One of the other boys attempted to pull Kreg above the water, however the undercurrent was so strong that it almost pulled the second boy under as well. Eventually one of the other swimmers was able to pull Kreg to the shore.
Numerous people, including a medical doctor who was traveling with the scout troop, and a BIA officer attempted to save Kreg’s life by administering CPR. After an extended period of time, it became evident that life saving efforts were unsuccessful.
According to an adult witness, two of the scouts were still trapped behind the falls. Adult leaders and boy scouts formed a human chain and rescued the two trapped swimmers.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety Rescue helicopter flew Harrison’s body to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office where the investigation will be continued.
The initial intent of the hiking party was to stay in the canyon until Friday and then hike out.
However, in light of this tragic accident, the boy scouts were flown out of the canyon by helicopter Thursday.
Sheriff Bill Pribil and the men and women of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Harrison’s family members, friends and fellow scouts.