Two teenagers die in Enagh Lough tragedy

Police have confirmed that the bodies of two 16-year-old males have been recovered from Enagh Lough in the Temple Road area of Derry.

Inspector Brogan said: “Police received a report shortly after 6.25pm yesterday, Monday 29th August, of a number of people in difficulty in the water. Officers attended along with colleagues from other emergency services.

“One male was taken from the water and transferred to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A second male was located and recovered from the water after extensive searches by Foyle Search and Rescue and police divers. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“One other male was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening. Three other males were also at the scene, and while they have been left shocked, are not physically injured.

Northern Ireland's Air Ambulance was at the scene

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“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.”

As news of the tragedy spread, politicians and church leaders were among the first to offer their condolences.

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan posted on Facebook: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedy that occurred at Enagh Lough this evening.

Hug your children tight tonight.”

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St Eugene’s Cathedral commented: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedy that occurred at Enagh Lough this evening.

Please keep those affected by the tragedy in your prayers tonight.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor Sandra Duffy has expressed her shock and sadness at the sudden death of the two teenagers.

“This is a very sad day for our city and district. The sad loss of two teenage lives in such circumstances is devastating for all of us. As a mother, my heart goes out to the boys’ parents and to their family and friends at this time, I hope you get the strength and support you need to get you through your huge loss.

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“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. My thoughts are also with the boys’ friends who were there last night and who witnessed the tragedy and to their school friends and teachers who should have been welcoming them back to school this week.

“I want to extend a special note of acknowledgement and thanks to everyone involved in the rescue operation, to the emergency services on the ground and the many volunteers who showed up to help as well all the staff at Altnagelvin Hospital. It has been a very difficult time for all of them and they are all in my thoughts and prayers.”

Mayor Duffy said that she was confident the local people in the Derry and Strabane area would rally behind the family and friends of the boys as they come to terms with their loss.

“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 concluded.