SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A family is mourning the loss of a hero after a 10-year-old boy died saving his sister from the Big Sioux River in South Dakota.
At about 7 p.m. Saturday, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office announced on social media a large-scale rescue operation was taking place near Hudson. Multiple agencies assisted the LCSO in searching the Big Sioux River for a missing 10-year-old boy, a post on Facebook stated.
By 10:30 p.m., the LCSO reported on Facebook a dive team had recovered the boy's body.
Ricky Lee Sneve was identified as the victim by his family. His mother, Nicole Eufers, said he was out on the river with his dad and siblings.
"A couple of the siblings fell in the water. Dad jumped in for two of them, and Ricky jumped in to save his sister Chevelle," Eufers told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Sneve was able to push his sister back on shore, but when his father and siblings turned around, he was missing, Eufers said.
"He saved his sisters’ life," Eufers said.
The boy's father, Chad Sneve, agreed with Eufers and said his son was the type of boy to do anything for anyone. His son was smart, dedicated and conservative, he said.
"He was generous, kind and special in more ways than I can begin to explain,” Chad Sneve said. “He was my everything, and he touched everyone he encountered.”
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The 10-year-old was described by his mother as being her best friend. He was the oldest of Eufers' four children and had a total of five siblings. Eufers said he loved fishing. He also enjoyed "wrenching,” a hobby he picked up from his father Chad Sneve, and working on his four-wheeler with his stepdad Logan. Other times, he'd help his stepmother Jaici cook and clean around the house, according to his mother.
"He taught me how to love and appreciate life. He never failed to amaze me," Eufers said.
The LCSO was not available for comment on the incident.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Sneve's family cover expenses related to his death.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: South Dakota boy dies saving sister from drowning in Big Sioux River