‘He’s a good kid’: Parents stunned as 17-year-old son drowns while swimming in Green River

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AUBURN, Wash. -- Crews on Wednesday recovered the body of a 17-year-old student from Pacific who went under while attempting to swim across the Green River, authorities said.

The teenager's family identified the boy as Jeremiah Smith. His father said they saw him in the morning and that he was studying hard and preparing to graduate from school in Pacific. They were stunned now that he is gone.  "He's a good kid," his father said.

King County sheriff's Sgt. Charlie Akers said Smith was among a group of teenage boys who were swimming in the river Tuesday night. They swam across the river near the big bend area and were swimming back when Smith began to struggle.  He was pushed by the current down river and then disappeared under the water, the boys told authorities, he said.

Akers said they received the first call at about 7:35 p.m. and searched with helicopters, boats and divers, but still had not located Smith's body by 10 p.m.  He said it was now a recovery operation, no longer a rescue mission.

The body was recovered after the search resumed Wednesday morning.

Akers said the temperature in the river was about 55 degrees, but added that Smith wasn't wearing a life jacket.


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