LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — The 15-year-old boy who was rescued from the water last weekend at Lincoln Woods State Park has died.
The teenager has been identified as Melecio DeLeon Regil of Providence, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced Thursday.
He was a student at The Met High School, which released the following statement to 12 News: “The Met community lost Melecio DeLeon Regil this week, a sophomore at our East Bay Campus. Melecio was a bright light in the Met School community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help DeLeon Regil’s family.
The incident happened shortly after lifeguards went off duty at 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the DEM. DeLeon Regil reportedly went out beyond the designated swimming area to retrieve a ball when he got into trouble.
A fisherman said he saw a group of kids holding hands in the water looking for someone. Hearing the commotion, an off-duty lifeguard swam out to retrieve the boy, then performed CPR after getting him back to shore, the DEM said.
DeLeon Regil was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
DEM spokesperson Mike Healey said swimming accidents can happen even with lifeguards present. He stressed the importance of following safety measures when heading to the beach, especially with children and teenagers.
The incident remains under investigation.