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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Shaun Keenan

Family devastated by tragic drowning of son at Enagh Lough donate thousands to charity

The devastated parents of Reuven Simon who died when he got into difficulty at Enagh Lough in August have donated thousands to two rescue charities.

Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian, both 16, died after getting into difficulty at Enagh Lough in Derry on August 29.

The boys were from Derry’s Indian Keralan community and had been enjoying the final day of their summer holidays before they were due to return to St Columb’s College after receiving their GCSE results.

Read more: Public plea to save "essential" community GP surgery in Derry

Last week, Reuven's parents Joshy and Saly Simon donated £1,000 to both Foyle Search and Rescue and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Attending the donation last week, SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said: "I accompanied Joshy and Sally, three months after their tragic loss, to meet representatives of these great organisations to acknowledge their heroic efforts on the day of the tragedy and their efforts to protect life every single day.

Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian (handout)

"Foyle Search and Rescue will use the money to improve safety at Enagh Lough. The families of Reuven and Joseph are so grateful to the people of Derry for their support, generosity and love. And also for the fundraising efforts of Jean Rodgers and the overwhelming response from the local community.

"They hope this will help raise awareness and improve education to prevent more lives from being lost and more families from suffering."

Speaking a short time after their son's death, a joint statement from the families read: “We have drawn enormous strength, at this dark and difficult time, from the sympathy and support we have received from Derry and beyond and for that we will always be grateful.

“It would be impossible to name individually all of you who have helped us but we do wish to put on record our appreciation and admiration of our emergency services and all those involved in the search, rescue and recovery operation for their courage and professionalism.

“The loss of our precious boys has left a massive hole in all our lives. These have been truly dark days but the community continues to be a source light among the darkness. People’s acts of friendship and kindness will not be forgotten."


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