Last Thursday evening, 11-year-old, Randez Brown drowned while trying to rescue his sister from a pond near Interstate 77. It was less than half a mile from their home in the Southside Homes neighbourhood in United States. His 7-year-old sister, Shamiyah Brown, was in critical condition on Friday afternoon in the CMC Intensive Care Unit.

According to family members, both Randez and Shamiyah were being looked after by their great-grandmother Dolly Knox, 81. They somehow managed to slip away from the house to join a group of children that cut through fields at nearby Marie G. Davis Military and Leadership Academy. From there, the group made their way down a hill towards Davis Creek. The neighbours believe that the victims were in a cement-lined culvert that empties into the pond when the girl actually slipped and got swept away by rushing water into the pond, which varies from ankle-deep to more than 6 feet. After realising what had happened, her brother jumped in to try and save her.

Merry Black, the children’s great-aunt, mentioned that Shamiyah knew how to swim but Randez did not. “That’s a dangerous spot, that’s a dangerous spot. This is a tragedy for everybody. Such sweet kids,” she stated. Merry added that she was not aware that Randez or Shamiyah ever played by the creek before. However, she herself, when growing up in Southside, used to sneak down and play over there when she was a child. She went on to say that she was actually friends with a boy who drowned in the same area 30 years ago.

Delrico “Rico” Fisher, 7, died in that same pond back in August 1984. The rising third-grader from Sedgefield Elementary School was swimming together with his brother and a friend after they had managed to climb over a fence and walk under I-77 to reach the pond. Randez Brown too was from Sedgefield. In fact, he had already made plans to celebrate his 12th birthday on Monday with a trip to a Charlotte Bobcats game. For the rest of the story, you can read it from here.

It is very easy to get carried away when we are having fun, especially children. Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind everyone of the dangers of the open waters. They are unpredictable and one can never estimate or assume the depth of such waters. Therefore, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. We make it our goal to ensure that all Singaporeans take up swimming lessons to have water safety knowledge.