Fire Captain: Cove where boy drowned not safe for swimming

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DEM_ Blue Bill Cove not safe for swimming after boy drowns_197098

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) – The Department of Environmental Management confirmed the body of a 12-year-old boy was recovered off Blue Bill Cove early Saturday morning.

The boy drowned Friday night while swimming with his father, and two younger sisters just before 6 p.m.

The DEM said they found the body shortly after 9 a.m., and 80 feet from shore.

Michelle Custadio was on the beach when fire crews say the boy disappeared underwater.

“The next thing I knew, one of the children was running up saying ‘call 911, my brother just drowned,'” Custadio told Eyewitness News of the scene Friday early evening.

Captain Howard Tighe of the Portsmouth Fire Department was the first on scene when the boy’s father made the call to emergency crews.

“We certainly don’t encourage people who aren’t familiar with the area to swim there,” said Tighe. “You can walk out waist high for 15-20 yards and then it drops off to about 30 feet. It’s a bad area.”

A spokesperson for the DEM said  Blue Bill Cove is not a designated swimming area, but is used by locals for boating and fishing.

Still, there are no signs in the area saying it is not safe to swim.

The boy is from Providence, but his identity still has not been released by authorities.

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