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Man Drowns in Black Butte Lake

Reported by : Action News Now
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Updated: 7/01/2013 5:31 pm

(UPDATE) 3:45 p.m.- The deceased has been identified as 29 year old Chico resident Theodore Wayne McMorrow. 

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into a boating accident this weekend in which a 29-year-old man was killed.

The incident occurred Sunday on the Black Butte Reservoir.  At approximately 4:05 p.m., a 911 call was made by 57-year-old Susanne McMorrow who told dispatch her son had fallen from their vessel and her husband, Richard McMorrow had entered the water in an effort to save him, according to the Sherriff Department’s press release.

According to the press release, Richard McMorrow, told deputies he and his son were sitting on the rear end of their boat when the father stated his son got up, slipped, and fell into the water. The son reportedly was unable to keep his head above the water. The father then stated he threw a life preserver towards his son, but his son was unable to reach the preserver. The release indicated the wind conditions were such that the vessel began to separate the boat from the victim. The father then stated he put on a life preserver and entered the water in order to save his son.

With the son being larger in stature than the father, he was not able to hold his son above the water. Richard Morrow told deputies he felt he was in the water with his son for at least thirty minutes calling for help, but not other boats were in the area in order to provide help until Richard McMorrow was too exhausted and his son was already deceased.

Action News Now spoke with the Glenn County Sheriff’s Department this morning. The department stated its deputies, the Orland Fire Department, and Westside Ambulance paramedics were dispatched immediately to the scene, but the response time was delayed due to the remote location of the incident.  The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office was contacted but that agency did not have a patrol vessel on the water at that time. 

An autopsy has been ordered to confirm the exact cause of death, and the incident is still being investigated. 

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