Indian community mourns after two boys drown in Northern Ireland

Teenagers had been swimming at Lough Enagh on Monday evening when they got into difficulty

The scene at Enagh Lough on the outskirts of Derry where two boys died after getting into trouble in the water on Monday evening. PA
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Two teenagers have drowned in a lake in Northern Ireland.

The boys, aged 16 and named locally as Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian, had been swimming at Lough Enagh on Monday evening when they got into difficulty.

They had been part of a larger group who stopped by the lake while cycling in the area.

The boys were pupils at St Columb’s College in the city and came from the southern Indian community.

The bicycles they had been riding remained beside the lough on Tuesday, which was cordoned off by police.

Some locals visited the small jetty to leave flowers in tribute.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the two boys.

Principal Finbar Madden described shock and sadness within the school at the “heart-breaking loss of two of our incoming Year 13 pupils”.

“No words can express the devastation that we feel as a school community, but first and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with both boys’ families, community and friends,” he said.

“This will be a very difficult time for the whole St Columb’s family and in the coming days it will be important that our pupils are with people they know and trust.”

Politician Mark H Durkan said the local community was shocked by the tragedy. PA

He said they will be providing support for the students.

The boys had been involved with Newbuildings Cricket Club.

In a statement, the club described them as “two of the most well mannered and lovely people”.

SDLP politician Mark H Durkan said the local community was shocked by the tragedy, particularly the Kerala community, which the teenagers had been part of.

He said the city was heartbroken at the devastating loss, and thoughts and prayers were with the boys' families, friends and the Kerala community at “this unbelievably dark and difficult time”.

“All of the young fellas involved in last night’s incident were from the Kerala community, they would be a very settled, established and vibrant Kerala community here, maybe 250 families from southern India who have been here a long time,” he said.

He said that the boys had completed their GCSEs and their school had been looking forward to welcoming them back to the classroom.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers were called shortly after 6.25pm to reports of a number of people in difficulty in the water.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said a rapid response paramedic, five emergency crews, a hazardous area response team and an ambulance officer were dispatched.

One of the boys was taken from the water but later pronounced dead in hospital.

The body of the second youth was recovered late on Monday night following extensive searches by rescuers and police divers.

Another male was taken to hospital for treatment for injuries not believed to be life-threatening, while three others have been left shocked, police said.

Mr Durkan said the lake had been the scene of tragedy about 30 years ago, when a young man lost his life.

Updated: August 30, 2022, 5:31 PM