Boy Drainpipe: 5-Year-Old Florida Boy Sucked Into The Caloosahatchee River

By iScienceTimes Staff on August 5, 2013 5:05 PM EDT

Caloosahatchee River
Owen Just, a 5-year-old boy, got sucked into a drainpipe which swept him into the Caloosahatchee River (pictured above) in Fort Myers, Fla. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A 5-year-old boy sucked into a drainpipe in Fort Myers, Fla., is safe after taking a potentially dangerous trip down the Caloosahatchee River.

Five-year-old Owen Just was playing with friends last week near a water-filled ditch near the drainpipe, when he apparently disappeared into the storm drain. Owen's friends called to adults, who didn't find Owen in the drainpipe, as he'd been sucked through and into the Caloosahatchee River.  

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"I want to say it was like a water slide," said Fort Myers Battalion Chief Chris Bevan.

Bevan said that Owen was very lucky to have not been knocked unconscious in the drainpipe, or he very likely would have drowned.

Remarkably, it wasn't any adult rescuers who saved Owen, but Owen himself. After being ejected from the drainpipe, adults heard him shouting from the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. But Owen was able to scramble out of the river.  

"He climbed himself out of the river," Bevan said. "Climbed out before anyone found him."

Brian Just, the boy's father, said that Owen is doing well.

"He is a very resilient kid," Just said, "tough kid."

"We would like to thank our family and friends many of whom were helping us out at the scene and through the night," Just said in astatement. "We would also like to thank the Fort Myers Police, emergency responders, and the staff at the Health Park Medical Center who all acted as professionals and made sure that our son's injuries were not more serious than they might have been."

The city of Fort Myers has blocked off the drainpipe as a result of the Owen incident, and is also looking at other drainpipes in the city to see whether they should be blocked. 

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