BROCKTON (CBS) – Two boys who were pulled from the water Saturday in a Brockton park have been identified as cousins who were skipping rocks and fell in, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office said.
District Attorney Timothy Cruz identified the victims as 13-year-old Rafael Andrande and 12-year-old Tiago Depina, both of Brockton. A third boy also went into the water, but was rescued by a family member.READ MORE: Celebrating And Commemorating Juneteenth: Words From Local Lawmakers
Firefighters were called to the scene around 7:30 p.m. near D.W. Field Park.
Investigators said the cousins were skipping rocks in shallow water, but there is a steep drop-off just a few feet out. It appears one of the boys fell into the water and the other went in to try and save his cousin. Neither boy knew how to swim.
Several family members and other witnesses in the area tried to save the boys but could not locate them.
“If you go 10 feet, you fall right down, probably 20 feet under,” said Valdo Centeao, who heard the boys’ parents yelling and jumped in to try and rescue them.
It took several hours for rescue crews to locate the boys.
Fire Capt. Stephen McLean said Depina was found about an hour after the search began. Andrande was located about an hour later, not far away.
Both boys were rushed to Good Samaritan Medical Center but did not survive.READ MORE: Oil Spill Settlement To Fund Loon Conservation Projects
“These are the types of calls that you never have to respond to,” McLean said.
Brockton Superintendent of Schools Michael Thomas issued a statement about the incident.
We were deeply saddened to learn that two members of the South Middle School community died on Saturday following a tragic accident. The district’s Support Services Department will have a team of school adjustment counselors available to provide emotional support to students for as long as is needed. Our hearts are with the students’ family and loved ones as they cope with this unthinkable loss.
The children were found in 10-12 feet of water.
“This is just a tragic day here in the city,” Mayor Robert Sullivan. “I can’t wrap my hands around what this family and respective relatives are going through right now. Just tragic.”
“People could come to pay their respects and just let the family know that the city is supporting them in this and we’re all here for them,” said a woman who stopped by the area on Sunday.
A memorial for the boys is growing near the water.MORE NEWS: Connecticut Becomes 1st State To Make All Prison Phone Calls Free
Grief counseling is available to students at South Middle School.