1 Brother Rescued, 2nd Still Missing in Creek

By Karen Araiza and David Chang
|  Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013  |  Updated 4:38 AM EDT
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One boy made it out of the rushing waters of the Pennypack Creek last night, his older brother didn't. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports from the scene where people have lost their lives before.

NBC10 - Tim Furlong

One boy made it out of the rushing waters of the Pennypack Creek last night, his older brother didn't. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports from the scene where people have lost their lives before.

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Rescuers have temporarily ended their search for a boy who went missing after he and his brother jumped into Pennypack Creek on Monday.

According to authorities, the brothers, ages 13 and 11, were with a group of kids -- four kids -- who were playing in the creek near Winchester and Roosevelt Boulevard. This was just before 2 p.m. on Monday. The kids were jumping off a nearby footbridge into the water when the two brothers got swept by the powerful current, over a water fall before they could get safely to the banks of the creek.

Crews pulled the younger brother from the water. The older brother, identified as Brandon Boyle, was not found however.

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A rescuer who did not want to be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the incident, said that the younger brother was "in shock, but talking." He was reunited with his mother at the scene and then taken to Frankford Torresdale Hospital for observation.

After two hours of searching for Boyle, police and firefighters decided to transition their efforts from rescue to recovery. Philadelphia Police Inspector Mike Cochrane said even for trained crews, the water was a force.

"They had to use one hand to hold their masks on so it wouldn't get ripped off," Cochrane said. "that's how strong the current is and the force of that water going over the cement bridge."

Rescue crews searched all day on Tuesday for Boyle but did not find him. They ended their search Tuesday night and will resume Wednesday morning.

Boyle's father describes him as the oldest of six kids, a baseball player and a rising freshman at Northeast High School.

The creek is more dangerous than normal after the wettest June on record. This morning, in particular, there was a swift surge in the water level and the volume of water moving through the creek area after the heavy rain.

Instant readings on the U.S. Geological Survey's website show that in the area where the boys were playing, the creek's water level rose from just below three feet to four-and-a-half feet.

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The flood stage for the creek near the rescue site is 7 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Two days ago, it crested at about 6-and-a-half feet.

Cochrane said police often warn kids and their parents, "You shouldn't be swimming in that creek, especially during a storm."


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