drowning

A Cadet woman drowned Tuesday (June 15) in the Big River.

Monica P. Boyer, 67, of Cadet, who drowned at the Washington State Park boat access southwest of De Soto in Washington County, is the third person to drown in the Big River this summer.

"The death of this woman profoundly saddens us, and we are thinking of her and her entire family during this difficult time,” De Soto Rural Fire Protection District Chief Tom Fitzgerald said. “We have seen several river/swimming fatalities already this summer throughout the district and the state of Missouri. We encourage all residents and visitors to familiarize themselves with river safety and always wear a personal flotation device. Being prepared can help prevent river emergencies and fatalities. Inexperienced swimmers should use extreme caution, especially in riverways that are full of root wads and sunken timber."

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Boyer was wading in the river, and when it became too deep for wading, she slipped and went under the water.

When first responders arrived around 2:32 p.m., the woman’s husband said he did not know where in the river his wife had gone, but a bystander with a kayak investigated a location of interest about 250 to 300 years downstream and found Boyer, who was not breathing, De Soto Rural Fire reported.

The Potosi Fire Protection District launched a boat with De Soto Rural personnel on board, and they got the woman out of the water, according to the release.

Boyer, who was not wearing a lifejacket, was pronounced dead at 3:27 p.m. by Washington County Ambulance District personnel, the Highway Patrol reported.

De Soto Rural Fire was called to the scene to assist Potosi Fire and the highway patrol Highway Patrol. The Washington County Ambulance District and the Washington County Sheriff's Office also responded.

The first drowning in the Big River this summer was James Evans, 11, of Cedar Hill, who drowned May 23 in the Cedar Hill area. Evans was wearing a life jacket and swimming with adults nearby.

The second drowning was Bennette E. Oxendine, 59, of High Ridge, who drowned June 11 while swimming near Byrnes Mill City Park.