Twin brothers who didn’t know how to swim die after divers pull pair from pond

PINEWOOD, Fla. – A family is grieving nearly three days after Fire Rescue divers pulled a pair of 13-year-old twin brothers who didn’t know how to swim out of a pond in Miami-Dade’s Pinewood neighborhood. They later died.

There were red heart-shaped balloons, candles, and toys where one of the boys fell into the pond while “horse playing,” and the other jumped in to help at Arthur Woodard Park, at 1220 NW 99 St.

Witnesses said one of the boys appeared to have been tangled in the legs in the underwater weeds when the divers pulled him out.

“I would hope that changes will be made to make it safer for other children so others don’t have to deal with what we are going through right now,” Joinel Louis, the boy’s stepfather, said in Creole.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel place a person in an ambulance near a lake on Friday in Miami-Dade's Pinewood neighborhood. (Copyright 2023 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

A child who was at the park had a cell phone and called 911, police said.

After quickly pulling the first teen out of the pond, three divers continued their search through invasive aquatic plants for the second teenage boy, who took them longer to find, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Fire rescue personnel took both teenage boys, who were in critical condition, in two separate ambulances to North Shore Hospital.

A doctor pronounced one dead first. The other was in critical but stable condition, but his condition deteriorated, and he later died, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Divers search for a drowning victim on Friday at a lake in Miami-Dade County's Pinewood neighborhood. (Copyright 2023 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

The teenage boys died less than half a mile away from their home.

“For our children to die in a situation like this is horrible,” Louis said in Creole.

The drownings also raised awareness about the need for free or affordable swimming lessons for minors in South Florida.

Here is a list of educational options in South Florida:


About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.