Tributes for boys, 16, who died after getting into difficulty in Derry lake as city ‘heartbroken’ | The SunAugust 30, 2022
TRIBUTES have been paid to two 16-year-old boys who drowned in a lake in a Bank Holiday tragedy.
Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian died at Enagh Lough in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, after a desperate battle to save them.
The tragic teenagers – originally from Kerala in India – were in a group of six friends who had gone to the lake for a swim when tragedy struck yesterday.
A spokesperson for the Kerala Association in Derry said: "We are extremely heartbroken with the devastating tragedy with the loss of our two youngsters, Mr. Reuven Simon and Mr. Joseph Sebastian, happened in Enagh Lough yesterday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our families and friends at this difficult time."
Emergency crews were rushed to the beauty spot at around 6.30pm yesterday.
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One of the teens was dragged from the water and rushed to hospital, but was tragically later pronounced dead.
The second was declared dead at the scene after being found in the water following a desperate search by rescue divers.
Cops said another boy was taken to hospital for his injuries but they are not life threatening.
Three other boys were also at the scene.
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Inspector Brogan of Northern Ireland's Police Service said: "Enquiries are ongoing into this incident, but we believe, at this stage, that this was a tragic drowning incident.
"Our thoughts are with the families of those affected."
Speaking from the scene of the tragedy, parish priest Father Michael Canny said the families were traumatised and absolutely devastated.
He told the BBC: "They are part of the Indian Kerala community who worship here at St Columb's in Waterside."
Councillor Rachel Ferguson of the Alliance party was also at the scene.
She said: "The boys were just out for a cycle. They'd gone down and they stopped off at the local jetty.
"They were both in the water and it seems that one boy has got into trouble and the other boy has gone to help him and unfortunately they were pulled under.
"The other boys flag down a car and some local residents to try and help. They rang the local services – the emergency services – who were in attendance very, very quickly.
"It's just a tragic accident that happened within the water."
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Northern Ireland Ambulance Service medical director Dr Nigel Ruddell told BBC Radio Foyle: "It turned into quite a lengthy operation, and regrettably with a tragic outcome.
"Our thoughts this morning are with those directly involved and their family and their friends in these tragic circumstances."
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