Kerala teens die after getting into trouble in water
Image by Mark H Durkan/Facebook
In a tragic incident that took place on Monday, 29 August, two teenagers are reported to have died after getting into difficulty in a lake.
The young boys, Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian, who were both 16 years old, were enjoying the end of their summer holidays in Northern Ireland when the tragedy took place.
Media reports have stated that the St Columb’s College students got into difficulty at Lough Enagh in Co Londonderry. They were originally from Kerala, India.
Both of them were living in the Waterside area and had cycled with 4 of their friends to the spot which was just a few miles from their home on their last day of summer holidays.
After the boys got into trouble, the authorities arrived and pulled one of them out and took him to the Altnagelvin Hospital, where he was pronounced to be dead. The other boy was pronounced dead at the scene after he was taken out of the water.
A third boy from the group was also taken to the hospital with injuries but is said to be out of danger.
Mark Deeney, Western Area Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service informed, “On Monday at 6.31pm firefighters were called to a water rescue incident at Temple Road near Strathfoyle. Three fire appliances from Crescent Link Fire Station including a Specialist Water Rescue Team, two Fire Appliances from Northland Fire Station, one Fire Appliance from Strabane Fire Station and a Specialist Rescue Team from Central Fire Station attended the incident.
“On arrival we were informed that two teenage boys were missing in the water approximately five metres from the end of a jetty. Members of the Water Rescue Team from Crescent Link immediately entered the water and, supported by other personnel, were able to recover one of the boys within 20 minutes. He was transferred to hospital by NIAS but sadly did not survive.”
The Fire Service also added that the firefighters had some trouble searching for the second boy as he could not be found. He was recovered just before midnight after an extensive search operation by Foyle Search and Rescue and a dive team was carried out under the watch of Police Service of Northern Ireland.
A spokesperson for the Kerala Association in Derry revealed that everyone who knew the boys were ‘extremely heartbroken’ and gave their condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
Mayor of Derry, Sandra Duffy, said, “As a mother, my heart goes out to the boys’ parents and to their family and friends. Our rivers and loughs can be so dangerous and this incident highlights more than ever the need for us all to be vigilant at this time of year.
“We are united in our grief today and all of us are here to offer our support to the families in the difficult days ahead.”
Both the young boys had a bright future ahead and were meant to start their A-Levels this week at St Columb’s College after having received their GCSE results last week.
Local resident and Alliance councillor, Rachael Ferguson told the Mirror, “As a local resident and councillor, I want to thank all who came out to help and support the search, the emergency services and the community groups and activists who offered their help and premises if needed.”
SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan for Foyle said, “These two boys were inseparable from what I have been told, they would always do everything together and they were good, honest young kids.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and the Kerala community at this unbelievably dark and difficult time.”
It has been reported that the funeral for both the boys will be held on Friday, 2 September.