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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Londonderry: Two boys die in drowning tragedy at Enagh Lough, Northern Ireland

Two boys have died after swimming at Enagh Lough, Northern Ireland

(Picture: PA Archive)

Two 16-year-old boys have died in a drowning tragedy at a lake in Co Londenderry, Northern Ireland.

The boys were swimming at Enagh Lough - lakes just outside the city of Londonderry - on Bank Holiday Monday when they got into difficulty.

Emergency services were scrambled to the scene shortly before 6.30pm.

One of the boys was pulled from the water and taken to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The second boy was initially missing, but was found in the water following “extensive searches” by police divers and Foyle Search and Rescue. He was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.

A third boy was taken to hospital with injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening.

They were part of a group of teenagers who had been cycling in the area, and stopped off at the lough before entering the water at a jetty.

Three other boys were also present at the popular beauty spot, and witnessed the tragedy.

Police Derry City and Strabane wrote on Twitter: “While they have been left shocked, [they] are not physically injured.”

The force added: “Enquiries are ongoing into this incident, but we believe, at this stage, that this was a tragic drowning incident.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected.”

Local priest, Father Michael Canny, said the boys who died were from the local Indian community in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

“The families involved are very well known here in the Waterside area. They are part of the Syro-Malabar community who worship here at St Columb’s (church) in Waterside,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

Alliance Party councillor Rachel Ferguson went to the scene.

“The boys were just out for a cycle. They’d gone down and they stopped off at the local jetty,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

“They were both in the water and it seems that one boy has got into trouble and the other boy has gone to help him and unfortunately they were pulled under.

“The other boys flag down a car and some local residents to try and help. They rang the local services - the emergency services - who were in attendance very, very quickly.

“It’s just a tragic accident that happened within the water.”

Responding to the incident on Twitter, Sinéad McLaughlin, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Foyle, wrote: “Heartbreaking news. Such sadness for all their families and friends. Thanks to the heroic efforts of all our rescue & police services.”

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