Girl drowns in Rivanna

Members of Charlottesville Fire Department, Albemarle County Fire &  Rescue and CARS work together in Darden Towe Park to drowning victim Yu Be Chaw. Charlottesville Firefighter Greg Wright searches in the water. 
Photo by Justin Ide Members of Charlottesville Fire Department, Albemarle County Fire & Rescue and CARS work together in Darden Towe Park to drowning victim Yu Be Chaw. Charlottesville Firefighter Greg Wright searches in the water. Photo by Justin Ide

A 9-year-old girl drowned in the Rivanna River on May 30 after slipping and being pulled underwater by a current. She was playing in a shallow area of the river, which was later measured at approximately 1.48 feet deep by the U.S. Geological Survey, according to the Daily Progress.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County authorities initiated the water rescue of Yu Be Chaw at Darden Towe Park around 3:50 p.m. Rescuers used boats, waded and searched on-foot for Chaw for approximately 30 minutes before finding her body. She was pronounced dead at the University of Virginia Medical Center just after 7 pm.

Chaw was a member of Charlottesville’s Burmese tight-knit Karen community, according to her Go Fund Me page—an online fundraiser that aims to raise $40,000 for the Chaw family. Last year, Chaw and her grandmother, aunt and two brothers came to Charlottesville as Burmese refugees. Chaw attended Venable Elementary, and her family is currently staying with friends while searching for a new apartment. At press time, nearly $10,500 had been raised for the funeral and extra expenses the family may have.

This is the second drowning of a child in Albemarle County in two weeks. A 3-year-old died in a private pool last week, authorities said.

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