GRACE — The body of a Chubbuck teen has been recovered following a tragic drowning incident near the “Flume” on the Last Chance Canal in Grace over the weekend.
Caribou County sheriff’s officials have identified the victim as 18-year-old Mason S. Romanelli.
They say Romanelli had been “shooting the Flume” with friends on Saturday evening.
“They were in the process of walking back across the Flume, when Mason decided he did not want to walk back on top of the Flume as he was concerned about the height of it,” sheriff’s officials said, adding that the friends decided to walk down the bank and swim across instead.
Romanelli was worried about swimming across by himself so he climbed onto his friend’s back, according to authorities. But the two sunk as they moved away from shore and Romanelli went under the water.
Sheriff’s officials say his friend immediately swam back to shore to get a branch so he could assist Romanelli, but the teen never resurfaced. The group began searching for him while emergency personnel responded to the scene.
Responders had to halt their search efforts overnight, but were able to recover Romanelli’s body on Sunday afternoon.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for Romanelli’s funeral expenses. For more information, people can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/q8gkc-mason-romanelli-funeral-fund.