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Iowa man drowns while helping rescue child from river

August 7, 2022 GMT

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (AP) — A 42-year-old Iowa man drowned in the Iowa River while helping rescue an 8-year-old child from the river.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s office said Wegayewu Faris of Coralville and a kayaker “were instrumental in saving the life of the 8-year-old child.” But Faris disappeared under the water while he was trying to help the child Friday evening near River Junction about 20 miles south of Coralville. Faris’ body was recovered shortly after 7 p.m. about an hour after a possible drowning was reported.

Witnesses told officers that after the child began struggling in the current of the river, Faris went in to try to save him, but Faris went under the water. A kayaker was able to rescue the child from the water but the kayaker and another person were unable to find Faris.

Bystanders performed CPR on the child who was taken to a hospital. The sheriff’s department didn’t provide an update on the child’s condition.

Faris and the child both came to the river with separate families to fish. They weren’t related.