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10-year-old South Dakota boy dies saving his sister from drowning in river, family say

A 10-year-old boy died saving his younger sister from drowning in a South Dakota river last week, his family said.

Ricky Lee Sneve was on a fishing trip with his father and three siblings in the Big Sioux River on Saturday, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

After the three younger siblings fell into the water, father Chad Sneve attempted to save two of the children while Ricky jumped to retrieve his younger sister. Ricky was able to push his sister back to shore, but when his father and siblings returned to shore, Ricky was gone, his mother Nicole Euffers told Leader Argus.

The young boy is now considered by his family and friends as a hero who risked his life to save his loved ones.

Ricky Lee Sneve.via GoFundMe

“He saved his sister’s life,” Euffers said in an interview with local media.

On Saturday evening, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced a full-scale rescue operation on the river looking for the 10-year-old on its Facebook page. Nearly three hours after the search began, the sheriff’s office followed up with news that the body of the deceased boy had been located and recovered from the water.

Chad Sneve said his son was the kind of kid who would do anything for anyone.

“He was generous, kind and special in more ways than I can begin to explain,” the father told Chief Argus. “He was everything to me and he touched everyone he met.”

Ricky enjoyed fishing, working on four-wheelers with his dad, and helping out around the house to help his stepmother, siblings and other family members, according to his parents.

Euffers told Chief Argus that his son is his “best friend” who will be sorely missed.

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