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Rhode Island teen pulled from the water at Lincoln Woods has died

Melecio DeLeon Regil was 15 years old.

A boy who was pulled from the water at a Rhode Island state park last weekend has died, officials said Thursday. Melecio DeLeon Regil’s death was confirmed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. He was 15 years old. 

The tragic incident occurred at Lincoln Woods State Park just after 6 p.m. on June 12. Shortly after lifeguards ended their shifts, DeLeon Regil moved outside the designated swimming area in order to retrieve a ball, WPRI reported

A fisherman later told WPRI that they saw a group of children holding hands in the water and looking for someone. An off-duty lifeguard jumped into the water, pulled DeLeon Regil out, and performed CPR. The boy was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, reportedly in critical condition. 

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DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. 

DeLeon Regil’s friends and family created a GoFundMe page. At the time of publication, the page has raised over $5,000 of a $10,000 goal. 

On the page, DeLeon Regil was described as “a bright light” in the community of The Met High School, where he was a student.

“His kindness and genuine care for others was an inspiration to all who knew him. Over everything else, his immense love and care for his family was his guide. There are no words to truly honor who this young man was,” the GoFundMe page said. 

In a statement to WPRI, DeLeon Regil’s school offered condolences. 

 “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.”

After the incident, DEM spokesperson Mike Healey stressed the importance of safe swimming, WPRI reported

He told the station that boys between the ages of 15 and 19 are ten times more likely to drown than girls the same age, citing data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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“About 75 percent of all children and teenage drowning victims are boys,” Healey told WPRI. “Children and teenagers should always be supervised when swimming.”

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