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Letter: Boy’s drowning a painful reminder of river’s danger

My name is Mark Johnson. Dylan Thorp, for all purposes, was my son. Danelle and I are engaged and I have been in Dylan’s life for over four years now. I love Dylan as one of my own. A part of me was lost on the river that night.

I want to thank all of the people who tried so desperately to find him, especially the divers and the crew who would not stop until they found my boy. I want to thank the girls who were with him and tried so desperately to help him. It gives me some comfort to know that he wasn’t alone, but was with people who loved him. I wish to thank the news crews that had sympathy and compassion that night and the night we had our vigil on the island for him. We needed time to mourn our loss, especially the friends of my son.

I also want everyone to be aware that when they hear someone screaming for help, it may not be just a teenage prank. There were people on that island that day. If someone would have at least went to find out what was happening, my son may still be with us. Teenagers and people in general do some childish pranks, but a few seconds to find out could save a life. These cries for help were unanswered.

I feel as I haven’t done enough, myself. I warned him about that river as we went fishing there also. It’s every parent’s wish that their kids will listen, but in reality, sometimes they don’t. I want our loss to hopefully save someone else. Sometimes words aren’t enough. Hopefully they will see the consequences of what can happen. The river is a dangerous place.