The 13-year-old entered the water on Monday afternoon
The death of a 13-year-old boy after an accident in a Co Down lake yesterday has been described as “a harrowing tragedy”.
Police were alerted around 3.30pm about concerns for the boy’s safety after he had entered the water in the Canal Court area of Scarva.
Despite a rapid response from the emergency services, which also included the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the Air Ambulance, he later died at Craigavon Hospital.
Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this stage. It is understood the boy had been from the village.
DUP MP Carla Lockhart was among many public representatives who spoke of their shock and passed on her sympathies to the family.
“It is absolutely devastating news to hear of another family plunged into sorrow after the death of a young teenage boy at the Canal Court area of Scarva village,” she said.
“Please remember the family in your prayers as they come to terms with this harrowing tragedy. To the emergency services and anyone else who assisted, thank you.”
NIFRS group commander Gary Magwood said firefighters had assisted the boy’s father and another male who recovered him from the water.
“We despatched two crews from Banbridge, and a crew from Portadown and Newry,” he said.
“Two officers also attended. Our specialist rescue team was also mobilised to the incident because of the nature of the water.”
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) added that they despatched an emergency crew and ambulance officer to the scene.
“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene a young male patient was taken by ambulance to Craigavon Area Hospital,” added the NIAS.
SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said: “My heart breaks for the family. It’s the news that every parent fears and dreads.
“For any family to experience that is just horrendous and my sympathies go out to them.
“I hope that the community and their family rally around to support them.”
He added to recent calls over safety around open water during the hot weather.
“I think it goes without saying, it was too late in this instance but hopefully we can use this as a way to warn other families.
“Young people, and everyone, need to be so careful all the time. Never take any risks around the water.”
Councillor Paul Berry added: “I know Scarva well and I know the people of Scarva well. Obviously it has come as a great shock when I learned of it.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family involved. It’s in the early stages but Scarva has been put into deep shock and mourning tonight as a result of this sad news.”
Ulster Unionist alderman Ian Burns passed on his condolences and said the young boy was from a local family. He also said it was his understanding the incident happened on an area of private land close to Scarva Park.
“It’s a terrible time for the family,” added Mr Burns. “I heard at least three sirens going past the house earlier on today so I knew something was wrong.”
Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Savage also passed on his deepest sympathies to the family of the young boy involved and said it is a “tragedy”.
Commenting on the response from the emergency services, he added: “Locally, the Air Ambulance has been invaluable in recent years responding to accidents in the Banbridge area.”
A statement from DUP councillors Paul Greenfield and Junior McCrum added: “Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of the young boy. There are no words that comfort at this time of such loss. We know that the family will be much prayed for and supported by the local community.”