Norway mourns death of teen who drown

IRON MOUNTAIN — The community of Norway is mourning the death of a teen who drown earlier this week in the Menominee River.

Bryan Christopher Stanchina, 17, of Norway, drowned Tuesday afternoon in the Twin Falls area of the Menominee River after he was swept away in the swift current while trying to assist another swimmer, authorities said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the family cope with expenses.

Divers recovered the body of Stanchina at 8:40 p.m. in about 14 feet of water on the Wisconsin side of the river near the private access road to the Twin Falls Power Dam, according to a press release from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office.

Stanchina was a Norway High School student, Norway-Vulcan Area Schools Superintendent Lou Steigerwald confirmed this morning. Although school is not in session, Steigerwald planned to make counselors available at the high school beginning at 10 a.m. today for any students who need them.

Several teenagers were swimming in the river at the Upper Twin Falls Bridge off County Road 607 in Breitung Township about 1:30 p.m. CT Tuesday when one began struggling in the heavy current, sheriff’s office officials said.

Recent heavy rain had prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory for the Menominee River earlier in the week.

Several other teens, including Stanchina, went into the water to help the distressed swimmer, who eventually was able to make it back to shore, officials said.

However, Stanchina was swept away from the bridge and last was seen near the Wisconsin shoreline.

Law enforcement, firefighters and civilian volunteers scoured the river and shore with boats in their seven-hour search. The Delta County Dive Team also assisted in the recovery, which was made difficult by the strong current, officials said.

The Florence County coroner pronounced Stanchina dead after he was found and his body was taken to Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain, officials said. One of the other teens also was taken to the hospital for an asthma or anxiety attack, sheriff’s officials confirmed.

County Road 607 was blocked to traffic Tuesday afternoon during the recovery efforts.

Assisting the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office were the Michigan State Police, Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources, Breitung Township firefighters, Beacon Ambulance, American Red Cross and the Dickinson County Road Commission.