Two cousins, 12 and 13 drowned at Brockton park

By Rumi Samuel Published on May 17, 2021
Two cousins, 12 and 13 drowned at Brockton park

Two boys are dead in Brockton, Massachusetts after being pulled from the water at a park in the city on Saturday.

The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office confirmed that two boys, 12-year-old Tiago Depina and 13-year-old Rafael Andrade, cousins from Brockton and students at South Middle School, were pulled from Waldo Lake at D.W. Field Park on Saturday after initially being reported missing around 7:30 p.m. 

“Upon arrival, responding officers determined that two children had gone under the water and could not be located,” the district attorney’s office said. “Brockton police officers on scene entered the water and made rescue attempts but were unable to locate the children.”

Along with firefighters, the Plymouth County Technical Rescue Team was called to the scene for assistance.

Brockton fire Capt. Steve McLean said that roughly an hour into the search, at around 8:51 p.m., Andrade was pulled from nearly 10 feet under the water and taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Around 9:33 p.m., Depina was located in the water, also nearly 10 feet beneath the surface. He was also taken to Good Samaritan, where he was pronounced dead.

“Preliminarily, it appears the two victims were skipping rocks in shallow water at Waldo Lake,” authorities said. “In that section, there is a steep drop off, and it appears one of the victims fell in while the other attempted to rescue him, and both went under the water. Several family members and witnesses in the area at the time made attempts at rescuing the boys but were unsuccessful.”

The two boys did not know how to swim, the district attorney’s office said.

Speaking in front of the lake at D.W. Field Park on Sunday, Mayor Robert F. Sullivan expressed the city’s “prayers and our condolences” to the family.

“It’s just tragic. Our hearts here in the city are just pouring,” Sullivan said.

Two Brockton residents who heard the family’s screams and tried to save the boys struggled Sunday to make sense of the tragedy.

“The whole time I was in the water searching for them, I was asking God, ‘why?’ When I got out of the water and couldn’t find them, I was still asking ‘why,'” Yannick DePina, no relation to Tiago, told the Herald.

Both boys attended South Middle School, where grief counsellors met students on Sunday.

Superintendent Michael Thomas said counsellors would be on hand for as long as is needed to help students cope with the “unthinkable loss.”

The district attorney’s office and State Police are investigating, but authorities said according to preliminary evidence, no foul play is suspected.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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