PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Two teens drowned on Sunday afternoon in Spanaway Lake, officials with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.
Two brothers, 14 and 15 years old, were playing in a designated swim area at the lake with their family close by.
They were later identified as Hamadi Musa, 14, and Ramadani Mberwa, 15.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies said the boys were out on the water using toy floats.
“One of them went under the water. The other one started screaming. The second child swam out and tried to find his brother, and then he never came up,” Sgt. Jake Gregor with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.
Rescue teams made it out to the lake in minutes and quickly recovered the bodies of both boys. The boys were taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
“Neither of the boys were strong swimmers. It’s my understanding and neither of them had life jackets on. So they were out over their head in the water,” Gregor said.
“It is tragic all the way around,” said Doug Dimock, a bystander at the lake.
Eaola Vera and her family witnessed the tragedy. They can’t get the sights and sounds out of their heads.
“We heard somebody yelling for help. My dad jumped in and, like, not knowing what to do and, like, 15 other people also jumped in and helped,” said Vera.
The family came back to the beach on Monday to build a memorial for the teen boys.
Many people at the beach believe lifeguards would’ve made a lifesaving difference.
“Yes, there are signs that say, ‘Swim at your own risk.’ But, I mean, if they’re going to let kids swim here, then they should have an adult as a lifeguard,” said Hannah Wilson.
“There wasn’t a lifeguard here, so both of those kids died,” said Brighid.
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