A three-year-old boy has died after he fell off a boat during a family trip and was caught up in its propeller.
Victim Walter Enslin Greer died at the Echo State Park Reservoir in the US state of Utah on the afternoon of Sunday, 13th August, shortly before 5pm.
The young boy, from Salt Lake City, was in the boat with his family when he fell into the water and was hit by the propeller.
Local officials confirmed that the toddler was declared dead at the scene and said he had been wearing a life jacket at the time.
The boy’s family released a statement saying: “We are devastated to be saying goodbye to our darling Walter so unexpectedly. Walter was an absolute joy who loved Spiderman, trains, trucks and his red boots. We are so blessed to have Walter as a forever part of our family. He is so loved and we hold his memory close until we meet again.”
The Utah State Parks Division said in a statement: “Walter Greer, a three-year-old from Salt Lake City, was riding a boat with family members when he fell from the vessel. After falling in, Greer was then struck by the propeller at the rear of the boat.
“Utah State Parks law enforcement rangers responded to the area and recovered Greer from the water, but he had already passed away. He was wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.
“Along with Utah State Parks, responding agencies include Utah State Bureau of Investigation, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol, North Summit Flyer District, University of Utah Health AirMed, and Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation.
“This incident remains under investigation at this time.
“The Utah Division of State Parks extends our condolences to the family and to all those grieving at this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to raise funds to cover the funeral and other costs.
At the time of writing, it had raised USD 21,000 (GBP 16,520) out of a USD 10,000 (GBP 7,865) goal.
Its summary reads: “It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the tragic passing of Walter Greer. On Sunday, August 13th, Walter died in a boating accident at Echo Reservoir while enjoying a day on the lake with his parents, two sisters, and dear friends.
“Walter was a happy, rambunctious three-year-old with a big personality. He loved Spiderman, trucks, boots, and trains and was excited to start preschool. His family and friends are devastated by this loss.
“Any help or just a message or prayer is greatly appreciated. Donations will be provided to Walter’s wonderful parents, Alex and Doug, to help with funeral, medical, counseling, and related expenses.
“Thank you.” (sic)