LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — The 15-year-old boy who was rescued from the water at Lincoln Woods State Park Beach on Sunday reportedly swam outside the designated swimming area, according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
DEM spokesperson Mike Healey said the incident happened between 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., just after lifeguards finished their shifts.
“The victim in this case was the one who went out beyond the ropes to retrieve the ball and that’s when he got into trouble,” Healey told 12 News.
An off-duty lifeguard heard commotion in the water and jumped in to retrieve the boy, then performed CPR.
The boy was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital where at last check, he remained in critical condition, according to the DEM.
Healey said swimming accidents can happen even with lifeguards present. He stressed the importance of following safety measures when heading to the beach, especially when children and teenagers are involved.
Citing statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics, he said boys between the ages of 15 and 19 are ten times more likely to drown than girls in that age group.
“About 75% of all children and teenage drowning victims are boys,” Healey said.
“Children and teenagers should always be supervised when swimming,” he added. “Parental or adult supervision is absolutely critical.”