Young boy drowns in Gilbert canal, little brother survives

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GILBERT, Ariz. – A Gilbert boy is dead after he and his younger brother were pulled out of a Gilbert canal Saturday night.

Firefighters were called out to the area near Pecos and Recker roads at about 5:30 p.m.

A father had reported his two little boys – a 5-year-old and 6-year-old -- missing after they failed to return home from a bike ride.

When he went to look for the kids, he found their bikes lying on their sides on the bank of the Roosevelt Water Conservation District canal. Right beside one of the bikes was a pair of shoes.

A neighbor spotted the two boys in the water and rushed to help.

"I just hopped over the fence with blankets and assisted the one boy," Bobby Bandara said. "I had another blanket and that's when the father was on his cell phone."

Brenan Thomson, 6, was not breathing when he was pulled from the water. Rescuers immediately began CPR. Brenan's little brother Rylan was breathing on his own.

Both children were taken to Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa. Brenan was air-lifted to Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa. He died shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Rylan was transported to Cardon via ground ambulance. His condition was not immediately available.

It’s not clear how Brenan and Rylan wound up in the canal, nor is it known how long they were in the cold water. Firefighters said it could have been as long as 30 minutes.

The exact temperature of the water is not known, but it was usually cold in the Valley and surrounding areas Saturday, with the high topping out in the low 50s.

An investigation into Brenan's death and Rylan's near drowning is under way. Police say that is standard procedure in any drowning case.

This is the second devastating incident involving young children and water in Gilbert in just over two weeks. On March 26, a 3-year-old boy drowned in his neighbor's swimming pool.