FORT MYERS, Florida (WBBH) – A young Ft. Myers, Florida boy playing in storm water got sucked into a drain pipe, traveled 300 yards down the pipe into the Caloosahatchee River and survived.
The boy had been playing in the street with friends when it started raining so hard and fast that whirlpool formed by a drain in the road. His friends saw what happened and ran to tell the boy’s parents.
Adults tried to remove him from the pipe, but they were too big to fit. The adults started running from drain to drain, following the boy as he was sucked out toward the Caloosahatchee.
The boy reportedly traveled approximately 300 yards down the drain pipe to the river, where adults were able to grab him.
“The street at that point was totally flooded, you couldn’t even see the roadway. all the yards were flooded, the streets were flooded,” said neighbor, Thad Goodwin.
Neighbor Tom Smoot says his son helped pull the boy from the river.
“They pulled the kid out and the kid was crying, but they were so relieved,” Smoot said.
By the time firefighters and paramedics arrived, the boy was out of the water, alive, conscious and reportedly in good spirits.
“Man, what do you with a kid underwater in a drain, and I pull up and he’s lying on the ground and his eyes are open and he’s oriented. Man, everything came through for this kid. He could have been dead. The only reason they were able to get to him so quickly is because they heard him scream,” said Chris Bevan of the Fort Myers Fire Department.
The boy was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital as a precaution.