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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Shaun Keenan & Ryan Merrifield & Damien Edgar

'Inseparable' teen pals, 16, drowned in lake while celebrating end of summer holidays

Two teenage boys who drowned in a lake while celebrating the last hours of their summer holidays have been pictured.

Joseph Sebastian and Reuven Simon, both 16, died after getting into difficulty at Enagh Lough near Strathfoyle, County Londonderry, on Monday.

Specialist crews conducted an extensive search and asked locals to avoid the area.

They were both retrieved from the water in the evening and pronounced dead at Altnagelvin Hospital and at the scene, respectively, Belfast Live reports.

One other male was also treated for injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.

Three other males were at the scene.

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The double tragedy has left Derry - and in particular the Strathfoyle community - heartbroken with tributes appearing on social media.

A spokesperson for the Kerala Association in Derry said everyone is "extremely heartbroken", adding: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our families and friends at this difficult time."

Local resident and Alliance councillor, Rachael Ferguson, said the entirety of Strathfoyle is behind the families.

"The community has woken today in complete shock and saddened," she said.

The scene at Enagh Lough on the outskirts of Londonderry (PA)

She said she wanted the boys' loved ones to know residents are offering their "thoughts, prayers and support".

She added that she hoped the young boys who witnessed the accident would get "as much support as possible" to help them understand the trauma they've experienced.

"As a local resident and councillor, I want to thank all who came out to help and support the search last night, the emergency services and the community groups and activists who offered their help and premises if needed," she said.

Mayor of Derry, Sandra Duffy, said: "As a mother, my heart goes out to the boys’ parents and to their family and friends.

Rescuers conducted a major search (PA)

“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," she added.

It's understood that the pair were supposed to start their A-Levels this week at St Columb's College after only receiving their GCSE results last week.

Two bicycles can be seen at the scene (PA)

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."

A spokesperson for Foyle Search and Rescue said: "Multiple Foyle Search and Rescue teams responded and it was quickly established that after one young boy was rescued, sadly one young boy was missing.

"After a number of hours of extensive searching of the Lough using specialised sonar equipment and a coordinated dive by police divers, a 16-year-old boy was recovered.

"We cannot express enough how much our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the two young boys who tragically lost their lives yesterday as well as all the emergency services involved at the scene.

"We want to finally thank our volunteers who worked tirelessly alongside the NIFRS, NIAS, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and PSNI to help in this tragic accident."

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