Teenage boy drowns in Shanghai river while parents watch on from nearby boat

A 17-year-old boy learning how to swim drowned in a suburban Shanghai river this weekend while his devastated parents watched on helplessly.
Ti Gong

A 17-year-old boy drowned while learning to swim in a river in Tinglin Town of suburban Jinshan District on Saturday afternoon, the district’s fire department said this morning.

The boy was learning to swim at about 4pm as his parents were watching over him from a nearby boat, authorities said. Later, the boy allegedly took off his life jacket and tried to swim himself, but soon drowned. The parents immediately searched the water where the boy disappeared and called the police after failing to find him.

Firefighters soon arrived on the scene and notified the professional water rescue team at the same time. Rescue personnel found the boy's lifeless body at 6:40pm.

The boy, from eastern China’s Anhui Province, was in his second year at a local senior high school. He came to visit his parents who were doing business in Shanghai during the summer vacation. 

Authorities said that children and teenagers should learn how to swim under the watch of parents or professionals in standard swimming pools, and must not swim in unsupervised waters.

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