A family outing on the north end of Squaw Island turned tragic this afternoon with the death of one family member, a 17-year-old, who was pulled from 61-degree water 45 minutes after he had rescued his little sister.

A second sister, 13, attempted to save him but had to be pulled from the Niagara River water by fisherman Leonard Stevens after she started to succumb, floating face-down beside her brother. Stevens was able to grab the girl and hand her to another man who had waded into the water.

The 17-year-old had jumped in to save his 7-year-old sister, who had slipped on rocks and fallen into the river. He was able to grab the girl and throw her to other family members on the rocky shore, but he was unable to get out himself. That’s when the other sister jumped in to try to help him.

The brother was eventually pulled out by a diver from the Buffalo Police Department’s Underwater Rescue Team, and they feverishly tried to revive him before Rural Metro ambulance service transported him to Erie County Medical Center.