BEAR LAKE, Utah, Aug. 4, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The mother and daughter who drowned Wednesday at Bear Lake died as heroes, a family friend said.
“Both died heroically,” said Greg Rechtenbach, a spokesman for the family of Jennifer Labourne, 37, and her daughter Brooklyn, 11, who drowned Wednesday afternoon during a family outing at Bear Lake, near the town of Fish Haven.
“They took courageous actions. They made decisions to be proud of.”
The two were trying to save a young relative from drowning when they lost their lives.
According to a new release from Chief Deputy Bart Heslington, of the Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the problems began when a sudden storm generated high winds, and drove Brooklyn and her 8-year-old cousin, who were sharing an inflated water toy, farther from the shore than was safe.
Jennifer Anne Lambourne and other family members rushed into the water to help the girls back to shore.
“At some point the 8-year-old fell off the inflatable and into the water,” the Bear River Sheriff’s Department statement reads. “When this child was struggling in the water Brooklyn jumped into the water to help her cousin stay afloat. Other family members and people in the area also assisted in the rescue efforts. At some point Brooklyn went under the water and did not surface.
“Jennifer reached the 8-year-old child, and also worked to keep her afloat. Jennifer eventually went under the water. The people rendering aid were able to get the 8-year-old child and Jennifer back to shore. Both were transported by Bear Lake County Ambulance Service to Bear Lake Memorial Hospital. Efforts to revive Jennifer were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the hospital.”
The 8-year-old survived. At the lake, efforts to find Brooklyn continued. Her body was recovered at about 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Surviving the mother and daughter in the family of four are the father and son, Joshua Lambourne and Boston, age 10.
“They are surrounded by their extended family,” Rechtenbach said. “This is obviously a devastating blow. Today, they are just trying to stay close to one another and just process and try to cope with the situation, and now to move forward, what the next steps are going to be.”
If it had its choice, the family would like to focus not on the details of the accident, but how the mother and daughter lived their lives, Rechtenbach said.
“Jenny was the wonderful mother of two beautiful children,” he said. “She was an a wonderful educator to many of the young children here in the Daybreak community. She built them up, gave them quality educational experiences, and really helped them to love learning.
“And Brooklyn was a wonderful little girl. She had some really close friendships with girls in the neighborhood who will miss her dearly.
“They were a close family, and loved taking advantage of all the opportunities that life afforded them. And the legacy of Jenny and Brooklyn will live on in the character they exemplified in a difficult situation. They did what most of us wish we would have the character to do.”
If you would like to visit the GoFundMe page set up for Lambournes, click here.