Spirit Lake teens rescued

Deputy pulled one boy from mill pond area

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SPIRIT LAKE - Two Spirit Lake teen boys were transported to hospitals late Wednesday afternoon after a possible drowning was reported in the mill pond area of Spirit Lake.

The status of both of the victims was unknown at press time, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Major Ben Wolfinger said.

The KCSO declined to release the names of the victims because a parent of one of them hadn't been notified as of Wednesday night.

According to the KCSO, a person reported seeing a teenage boy in the water in the mill pond area on the north side of Spirit Lake calling for help at 4:40 p.m.

A person in a private boat reached the 16-year-old boy in the water, but could not reach the 15-year-old boy who was reported to be under the water.

"It is our understanding that they were swimming alone," Wolfinger said.

People on the road flagged down a passing Kootenai County deputy, who used a private boat to reach the area. The deputy dove in, without dive equipment, and found the 15-year-old on the bottom of the lake in 7 to 8 feet of water.

He brought the victim to the surface and to the Spirit Lake Fire District boat, where firefighters immediately started CPR.

The 16-year-old was transported to Kootenai Medical Center by ground ambulance and the 15-year-old was transported by MedStar helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Cameron Clary, a Timberlake High student who works at the lakeside fun center that offers lake rentals, said he earlier saw the two boys walking across the bridge, then later heard emergency crews coming.

Clary said the two were reportedly swimming in the lilly pads when the 15-year-old became tangled in the vegetation. That victim was reportedly under water about 15 minutes.

Clary described the 15-year-old as a Timberlake football player going into his sophomore year and who has "plenty of friends."

The KCSO did not release further details of the incident on Wednesday.

An investigation continues.

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