DEM emphasizes importance of water safety

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Department of Environmental Management stressed the importance of water safety on Friday, less than one week after a teenage boy died after being pulled from the water at Lincoln Woods State Park Beach.

The DEM urged the public to protect themselves around water and emphasized the importance of swim lessons and lifeguards.

Sunday evening just after 6 p.m., emergency crews responded to the State Park beach for a report of a drowning. The boy was given CPR and rushed to Hasbro Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities identified the victim as 15-year-old Melecio DeLeon Regil of Providence.

A GoFundMe page set up by loved ones, said DeLeon Regil was a ‘bright light’ in his community and his ‘immense love and care for his family was his guide.’

“Swimming is an inherently risky activity,” said DEM spokesperson Jay Wegimont. He said drowning is the second leading cause of death and injury in children ages one to fourteen.

Wegimont urged families to get enrolled in swimming lessons, pay close attention to other swimmers, and use the buddy system.

“It’s one of the most important, preventative tips when going to a beach or a campground with waterfront.

The department said resources to find those classes include your local YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, or the American Red Cross.

“If your child cannot swim, do not have them go in the water.”

State Beaches are open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wegimont noted lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the department is always looking for more applicants.

The DEM said the investigation into the death is still active and ongoing.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island