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Teen dies while saving his girlfriend from drowning

LAVA HOT SPRINGS, Idaho – Athlete, friend, brother, son — 17-year-old Marco Gil is known as a lot of great things. Now, he’s known as one more.

“There’s no question. In the true sense of the word, he’s definitely a hero,” said Bill Johns, a close family friend of 30 years.

Johns said Marcos would give anything for anyone. On Saturday afternoon, he gave his life.

Gil and his 14-year-old girlfriend were out for a walk along the Portneuf River. Authorities say it was hot outside, and the girl jumped in the water. When she got into trouble and didn’t resurface, Gil jumped in after her, even though he can’t swim.

“The water is extremely cold so that’s one thing,” Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said. “The current is very bad and that’s another thing. And it’s deep.”

Gil was able to push his girlfriend to the surface, but the strong current pulled him under. The girl survived. Gil did not.

“Somebody made the comment, ‘Why did he get in the water if he didn’t swim?’ It’s Marcos. He’d do anything. He couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t give everything for somebody else and that’s what he did,” Johns said through tears.

Gil’s death has affected all those who knew him, but his friends and family say his memory will live forever.

“His example and the way he lived, his smile, will affect lives for a long time,” Johns said.

Gil is from Idaho, but his girlfriend is from Erda, Utah.  They have set up a GoFundMe page* to help Gil’s family with funeral expenses.

*KSL does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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