Two boys are dead in Brockton, Massachusetts after being pulled from the water at a park in the city on Saturday.
The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that two boys, 12-year-old Tiago Depina and 13-year-old Rafael Andrande, cousins from Brockton and students at South Middle School, were pulled from Waldo Lake at D.W. Field Park on Saturday after initially being reported missing around 7:30 p.m.
Multiple 911 calls were placed, authorities said, after the people with the boys said they hadn’t seen them for 5 to 10 minutes.
A preliminary investigation has determined that the boys were skipping rocks in a section of the pond near a steep drop off, the district attorney’s office said. One of the boys fell in to the deeper part, investigators said, and the other attempted to rescue him.
Brockton fire Capt. Steve McLean said that roughly an hour into the search, at around 8:51 p.m., Andrande was pulled from nearly 10 feet under the water and taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Around 9:33 p.m., Depina was located in the water, also nearly 10 feet beneath the surface. He was also taken to Good Samaritan, where he was pronounced dead.
Valdo Centeio was at the scene on Saturday and said he is having a difficult time processing everything.
“I heard screams coming from Waldo Lake, just going crazy — ‘Oh, I can’t find my kids,'” he said.
Centeio said he tried to help, but the water was too deep and it was too dark outside.
“I guess they went down the ramp, but they didn’t know that once you’re at the end of the ramp they were just going to go right in,” he said.
“As mayor, this is a really difficult part of my job,” Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said Saturday night. “And as a dad of three young kids, it’s devastating. So I do want to just, on behalf of the entire city, send our prayers and thoughts to the families and to the victims.”
The rescue operation for both boys took up to two hours, and McLean said it was in hampered by the setting sun. Lighting was brought to the scene to assist in the search.
CPR was performed on one of the victims, authorities said, though the attempts to revive the boy were unsuccessful. The Massachusetts State Police detectives unit is assisting the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office with an investigation into the deaths of the boys.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that two members of the South Middle School community died Saturday following a tragic accident,” Brockton Superintendent of Schools Michael Thomas said in a statement Sunday. “Our hearts are with the students’ family and loved ones as they cope with this unthinkable loss.”
Thomas said the district’s Support Services Department will have a team of adjustment counselors available to provide emotional support to students for as long as needed.
An 11-year-old boy was also pulled from the lake earlier in the evening and transported to Good Samaritan Medical Center. His condition is not known.
Swimming at Waldo Lake is not allowed by the city of Brockton. The boys did not know how to swim, according to the district attorney’s office.
No foul play is suspected.