By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The tragic death of 13-year old Jose Angel Capellan Rodriguez on Sunday, a Lynn middle schooler, has led the Lynn Police Department to offer a summertime reminder about swimming safety.
“As the weather becomes warmer, one of the most enjoyable activities that people do is swimming,” Lynn Police said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the death of a 13-year-old Breed Middle School student on Sunday reminds us that drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the age of one and 14. Every year, we are reminded of these tragic stories.”
Lynn police are urging residents to swim only in places where it’s allowed and to be aware that bodies of water, such as ponds and reservoirs, often contain logs, tree branches, weeds and other hazards that are not visible on the surface. Even a strong swimmer can become entangled in these dangers.
Inexperienced swimmers wading into the water cannot always see the hazards beneath the surface. A swimmer could suddenly find that the bottom drops off into deeper water, even close to a shore line. No matter where you are swimming police are urging swimmers know their limits and use caution. Young and inexperienced swimmers should always be supervised and even strong swimmers are advised to be aware of their surroundings.
The Lynn police also remind residents that swimming in the reservoir (Walden Pond) is illegal and violators are subject to arrest and a fine. Lynn Police officers will be on the lookout for illegal bathers in the reservoirs. They ask residents to take advantage of the many nearby beaches. Places where people are allowed to swim will often have signs explaining the cautions and restrictions, police said.
“If you are not a strong swimmer or do not know how to swim, respect this fact and do not compromise your safety,” police said. “When planning a day at the beach or near any other body of water, try to bring a cell phone and know your exact location. In the event of an emergency, this will save precious minutes.”
Young Jose Angel Capellan Rodriguez was reportedly swimming near a group of others in the Lynn reservoir when he went under the water shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday. Emergency responders from Lynn and Saugus responded to the pond quickly, but it took rescuers nearly 30- minutes to the find the boy. By the time they did, he had succumbed.