NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A 14-year-old in distress was pulled from a canal Monday afternoon in North Miami Beach, authorities said.
The incident was reported in the area of Northeast 15th Avenue and 165th Street at the Harry Cohen Complex.
The victim, identified by his father as John Fodley Pascal, was riding his bicycle in the area with friends.
Pascal's friend, Alcides Alfonso, 18, says they tried to get into a nearby pool but were kicked out.
Afterward the group decided to jump into the canal -- something the friends say they've done before.
Alfonso told Local 10's Liane Morejon they jumped in the water, and while he was swimming ashore he saw Pscal struggling. Alfonso said he thought Pascal was joking at first but then he realized he was in trouble.
"When I got out, I saw him drowning. I thought he was playing, but when I looked at him close, I said, 'Oh, he's not playing,'" Alfonso said.
Alfonso said he tried to jump back in to help, but he began to struggle too and went to shore. Pascal's friend Jocelyn Davis, 16, began calling 911.
"I jumped in for him and almost drowned with him, so I had to let him go," Alfonso said.
Friends said Pascal was underwater for about eight minutes before members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue went in to save him. Witnesses said he wasn't breathing when he was pulled out.
The teen, who plays football at North Miami Beach High, is now in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.