17-year-old dies in surfing accident at Bend Whitewater Park

Ben Murphy died after a tragic accident at Bend Whitewater Park. Photo: Bend Parks and Recreation

According to reports, Ben Murphy, 17, of Bend, Oregon, died in a tragic river surfing accident at Bend Whitewater Park.

The park, which features three channels in the Deschutes River, is a popular spot for river surfers. Twenty-six air bladders were installed in the river bed in 2015, and they are adjusted in real time to create waves of different shapes for surfers of different skill levels.

The curvature bulletin reported that the teenager died after being trapped underwater for several minutes. Other surfers tried to rescue him and pull his foot off one of the underwater panels that were making the wave, according to eyewitness accounts.

Stetson Talley, who was at the scene when the accident happened, said Turn that he was one of the surfers who jumped in to try to save Ben.

“It was pretty obvious to me and everyone else that he was incapable of helping himself,” Talley said.

Eventually the wave was stopped and Murphy was pulled from the river. CPR started immediately. “There was nothing we could do and it was a helpless situation,” Talley continued. “It was terrifying.”

Ben’s father, Patrick Murphy, released a public statement on Facebook through his pastor at Journey Church in Bend.

“Ben was underwater for six minutes,” the elder Murphy wrote. “He was not breathing and had no pulse when we were finally able to free him and bring him back to shore. The paramedics were there to meet us and immediately started CPR. Ben was transported to St. Charles where they continued CPR. He was shocked several times and did not respond. After an hour, the doctor approached Lynda and me and let us know he was gone. They had allowed us to be in the emergency room with him and we continued to pray. Her finger quivered and her heart began to beat weakly.

With this faint hope, the doctors began to work feverishly on Ben again. His condition slowly improved and he was transferred to the intensive care unit. Over the next eight hours, her family prayed for her recovery, but unfortunately the trauma was too much. His organs began to fail and he passed away.

“He was on oxygen, tons of medication and was sedated to keep him comfortable,” Ben’s dad continued. “We were able to talk to him, pray for him, read to him and share some of the encouraging notes we received from those of you who support us. We received an incredible gift of time with Ben to just be with him. This morning, several of his organs showed severe damage from the trauma he suffered. St. Charles staff went above and beyond to save him, but unfortunately he suffered multiple organ failure and his body simply shut down.

Bend Whitewater Park has been closed since the accident while officials assess the whitewater park’s bladder and gate system.

“All of us at Bend Park and Recreation District are deeply saddened that a young person lost their life,” the park said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they mourn this difficult time. May the family be comforted by the thousands of prayers of these last days and by the road ahead. »

Our deepest condolences go out to friends, family and anyone affected by this tragic accident.

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