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Update: Black Butte Lake drowning victim identified

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jul 01 2013 01:58:54 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 01 2013 11:51:18 AM CDT
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ORLAND, Calif. -

The boating enforcement unit of the Glenn County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal accident that occurred on Black Butte Reservoir Sunday.  The deceased has been identified as 29-year-old Chico resident Theodore Wayne McMorrow.

A 9-1-1 call was received at the Glenn County Sheriff's Emergency Dispatch center at approximately 4:05 p.m. from 57-year-old Susanne McMorrow reporting her son had fallen from their vessel and her husband had entered the water in an effort to rescue him and neither one had surfaced.  The son was not wearing a personal floatation device.  

Sheriff's deputies, Orland Fire Department, and Westside Ambulance paramedics were dispatched immediately.  The Tehama County Sheriff's Office was contacted but that agency did not have a patrol vessel on the water at that time.  

The victim's father told investigating deputies that he and his son were sitting on the rear of their boat dangling their feet in the water. The father stated his son got up, slipped and fell into the water.  

The son was unable to keep his head above water.  The father stated he threw a life preserver towards his son but the son was not able to reach it.  Wind conditions were such that the boat began to separate in distance from the son.  The father stated he then put on a life preserver and entered the water in an effort to save his son.  

With the son being larger in stature than the father, he was not able to hold his son above water.  Richard McMorrow told deputies he felt he was in the water with his son for at least 30 minutes, yelling for help, however, there were no other boaters near them to come to their aid.  An autopsy will be ordered to confirm the exact cause of death.