A teenage girl drowned yesterday after she and two pals tried to cool off in the deceptively powerful waters of the Schuylkill River.

Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said a passer-by who was walking near the Strawberry Mansion Bridge in Fairmount Park about 10:50 a.m. noticed the girl and two teenage boys in the river, waving for help.

A female jogger who also happened upon the scene called 9-1-1 while the man frantically tried to rescue the struggling swimmers.

Vanore said the man managed to pull the two boys from the river, but was unable to save the girl, who was apparently pulled under by the current.

Members of the police Marine Unit began scouring the river for the girl, who earlier in the day wore a green and white T-shirt.

About 5 p.m., Vanore said, a Marine Unit boat became caught on some debris while it was dragging the river near the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.

When the officers tried to free the boat, they found the lifeless teen.

- David Gambacorta