UPDATE: Teenager Drowns in Alderson

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It was a sad weekend as community members in Alderson mourned the loss of a teenage boy after he drowned in the Greenbrier River. “It hurts me because someone that young going swimming and a current sucking him down like that, it hurts me,” said an Alderson Resident, Edward Range.

Saturday afternoon (6/24) Alderson emergency crews rushed to the scene of a drowning at the town’s most popular swimming location.

One of the first responders on the scene at Mini Park was Jesse Willis who said he was there when rescuers dove into the Greenbrier River to save a boy, but unfortunately a powerful current had gotten to him first. “The victim’s friend had advised they had swam across the river and he hadn’t been able to locate him,” said Willis.

While the water can be as shallow as 5 feet, as people swim further out, the water could be as deep at 25 feet. Officials said the swimming conditions aren’t the same as what they used to be. “After last years flood about this same time of the year the undertow of the river is different, there’s currents in places there wasn’t before,” said Willis.

That’s why emergency crews stress the importance of taking precautions like wearing a life jacket, not going out on the river alone and even if a person is with a buddy, make sure someone else knows where you are.

While it’s too late for one teenage boy, Willis hopes incidents like this won’t happen again as their community pulls together in this difficult time. “While our thoughts and prayers are with the family, Alderson will rebound,” said Willis.


Greenbrier County 911 Dispatchers confirm to 59 News there has been a drowning in Alderson.

Dispatchers said it happened at Mini Park in Alderson just after 2 Saturday afternoon (6/24).

Dispatchers couldn’t confirm who drowned.

Alderson and Tri County Fire Departments arrived on scene. The Alderson Police Department is investigating the incident.

Stay with 59 News for the very latest updates on this story.

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