Two teenage boys from Kerala drown in Northern Ireland lake

They were among a group of six friends who had cycled to Enagh Lough for a swim on Monday



Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

By ANI

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 8:52 AM

Two 16-year-old Kerala-origin boys living in the UK have "tragically drowned" in a lake in Northern Ireland, local media reported.

The deceased teenagers — identified as Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian — were among a group of six friends who had cycled to Enagh Lough outside Derry, for a swim on Monday evening, Ireland's public service broadcaster RTE reported.

It is believed the incident occurred after some of them went swimming, the media outlet said. According to a statement by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, after complaints by a number of people of trouble in the water, an alarm was raised at around 6.30am, triggering a rescue and recovery effort.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) also said that a rapid-response paramedic, five emergency crews, a hazardous area response team, and an ambulance officer, were dispatched to the scene. NIAS also tasked the air ambulance to attend to the incident, according to RTE.

One boy was taken from the water to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police said a second boy was also recovered from the water "after extensive searches" by Foyle Search and Rescue and police divers.

"He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene", the media outlet said.

A third boy was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Three other boys were unharmed, but in shock, said a Police Service of Northern Ireland statement.

Micheal Martin, Prime Minister and head of the government of Ireland, expressed his sympathy to the families.

Meanwhile, Father Michael Canny, a Catholic parish priest in the nearby Waterside district, said as many as eight boys may have cycled to the lake.

"I understand they decided to enter the lough for swimming, which is not uncommon for locals to do," he said as quoted by RTE.

He said the boys attended local primary and grammar schools and received their GCSE results last week.

"They are part of the Indian Kerala community who worship here at St Columb's in Waterside. Two of the mothers are nurses, I understand. Another works in the health service and another is a local business here. It's an awful tragedy, and there is tremendous sadness all around."

The Mayor of Derry/Londonderry and Strabane District Council councillor, Sandra Duffy, expressed her sadness at the incident and said that she would open a Book of Condolence, in this regard.

Michelle O'Neill, an Irish politician, also called the incident "heartbreaking news".

"Heartbreaking news from Derry, as two young boys have tragically lost their lives at Enagh Lough. My heartfelt sympathies to the families, friends and local community at this very difficult time," she said in a tweet.

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