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Letter: After devastating teen drowning, re-educate on river safety

After devastating teen drowning, re-educate on river safety

As a community we are devastated by the loss of Dylan Thorp. As his mother stated, there were many people who dropped what they were doing and came (to a vigil) at the spur of the moment, and I was one of them. It is my regret that there wasn’t more I could do to help the horrible situation besides pray for Dylan’s rescue.

I am impressed with the timely response of our local public safety team as well as the timely response of surrounding communities’ public safety teams and the intense, professional and dedicated work all the first responders and rescue teams performed. One of the positive things that I hope will result from this tragedy is acquiring our own diver/dive team for south Washington County.

I have already opened discussions with St. Paul Park Fire Chief Kirk Lee, Police Chief Mike Monahan and state Rep. Dan Schoen to look into the requirements for obtaining training and certification so if a similar situation ever occurs we are better prepared to offer the best rescue efforts we can.

I am disheartened that there aren’t more visible warnings of the dangers of swimming in the Mississippi River at Lions Levee Park. Many in our community grew up near and frequently enjoy pastimes associated with the river but can always use reminders of water safety issues.  Let’s take the time to re-educate ourselves and our children on river water safety in honor of Dylan Thorp and in the hope that we may save another St. Paul Park family from having to deal with a devastating loss. I hope I speak for the entire community when I say our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Dylan’s family. 

—Mayor Keith Franke

St. Paul Park