Teens Drown While Swimming

Two teenagers drowned in the Cape Fear River Sunday evening while swimming with friends along N.C. 217.

Donovan Sutton, 15, and Steven McNeill, 16, both of Erwin began to struggle while attempting to swim across the river around 6:45 p.m. and subsequently drowned.

The two other boys who were with them reportedly turned back to help and were pulled under the water by their struggling friends and swam back to the bank. The boys, who were not identified, began yelling for help and their screaming alerted people on the river bank, who called 911 for help.

One bystander who was walking the river trail entered the water in an attempt to rescue Donovan and Steven, but was unable to find the boys after they had submerged.

Rescue crews arrived around 7 p.m. and before long, there were nine agencies on the scene at the Cape Fear River Trail Park.

Approximately two hours later, with the aid of six boats, the bodies of Donovan and Steven were recovered, at around 9 p.m.  Story courtesy The Daily Record