Body of boy, 6, found after mom drowned trying to save him and 7-year-old sister who fell into river during family trip | The Sun

THE body of a six-year-old boy has been found after his mom drowned trying to save him and his sister from a fast-flowing river.

The tragic discovery came three days after the boy fell into the water, sparking a massive rescue operation by his family and local first responders.

The family was visiting the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Massachusetts on June 9 to fish and swim when the father, 31, went to their car at 7pm to get something.

When he came back, he found that his son Mason DeChhat had been swept away while trying to reach for something in the water.

Police say the boy's seven-year-old sister tried to grab him as he began to be pulled away and fell into the river too.

Their mother, Boua DeChhat, jumped into the water to try to save her children despite not knowing how to swim.


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They were caught in the strong current, according to Massachusetts State Police.

The dad returned from the family car to find his wife and daughter in the water and jumped in after them, but couldn't reach them after getting into trouble himself.

The current carried the mother and daughter inland, where someone in a boat saw them struggling and was able to pull them out, officials said.

The mother was having trouble hoisting herself up and disappeared under the water.

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Mark Bajko, a bystander, and a police officer tried administering CPR to the mother after she was pulled from the water.

"I'm going as hard as I can," Bajko told WCVB.

"I've already called 911 on my way over and I'm doing CPR and finally, a police officer taps me and says, 'Hey let me take over.'

"And he takes over and I stand up and in that moment and that second, a little girl stopped crying and yells, 'My brother is still in the water.'"

The girl and her mother were taken to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport.

The seven-year-old was treated and released.


The search continued for little Mason with the Coast Guard, harbormasters, state police, local police, and fire departments as well as state environmental police searching the area.

Newburyport Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said strong currents were presenting challenges in the search mission.

Some 10 state police divers were used and helicopters were seen scouring the area while divers were using sonar and being towed behind boats to look for the boy.

The search and rescue operation for the young boy was suspended on Friday at 5pm, the Coast Guard said.

"It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search and rescue case, and even more painful when children are involved," said Capt Kailie Benson, Coast Guard Sector Boston Commander.

On Sunday, it was announced that the body of Mason was discovered.

"It is with a great sadness we must report the body of the young boy has been recovered," Amesbury police shared in a statement on Facebook.

A kayaker found his body about a half mile from where he was last seen, authorities said.

“I saw something floating and I was hoping it was a stick, and then as I got closer realized what it was and called 911,” the kayaker was quoted as saying.

“It’s just awful.”

The remains were turned over to the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for official identification.

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A small memorial has been created along the Merrimack River off Deer Island where the incident occurred.

Almost $100,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe to support the family after the tragic loss of two of their six family members.

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