Young Bible Camp Attendee dies at Lake Manawa


June 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs said Wednesday evening that an 11-year old boy drowned in about 4-feet of water at Lake Manawa State Park Wednesday afternoon. Isaiah Griffin, of Omaha, had been attending an Open Door Mission-Lydia Bible Camp and was playing football in a designated swimming area at the lake, when he disappeared. Officials said a lifeguard was on-duty when the incident occurred at around 2:30-p.m..

Witnesses told authorities a camp counselor found Griffin in shallow water. The boy was pulled from the lake and efforts to revive him through CPR were begun immediately. Griffin was pronounced dead at a local hospital. An autopsy was planned for Friday.

Isaiah Griffin was a fifth grade student at Liberty Elementary School in Omaha, who lived at the Open Door Mission-Lydia House with his mother. Officials say she didn’t attend the shelter-sponsored field trip to the lake. The Council Bluffs Police Department is investigating the incident, but they say it appears to be an accident. Late Wednesday evening Open Door Mission President Candace Gregory released a statement saying, “The Open Door Mission is saddened by the tragic event today of the loss of Isaiah Griffin. There are grief counselors and pastoral staff on Campus ministering to those that are hurting. Please keep the Open Door Mission and the Griffin family in your prayers.”

In a separate incident in northwestern Iowa, a 6-year-old boy was critically injured in an apparent accident Wednesday afternoon at the Spencer Family Aquatic Center. The Spencer Daily Reporter said on its website the boy was flown to a South Dakota hospital, but a report on his condition was not available.