Pals Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian were swimming in the Strathfoyle lough on Monday, August 29, 2022 with friends when they got into difficulty in the water.
An inquest into the deaths of two boys who drowned in Enagh Lough has heard how attempts were made to save them.
A witness told the hearing that Joseph Sebastian got into difficulty in the water “all of a sudden” just a short distance from the shore.
Reuven then tried to save him before going under the water himself.
Both boys’ cause of death was declared as drowning following post mortem examinations.
The inquest heard that a group of six boys cycled to the lough, bringing towels with them as they planned to swim.
Reuven Simon’s brother Evan, described the water as “very cold” and “dark green in colour”.
He said he stayed about five metres from the shore, as the water reached his chest quite quickly, but after ten to 15 minutes of being in the water, he noticed Joseph getting into trouble about eight metres from the shore.
Evan said Reuven swam towards his friend before going beneath the surface and he “didn’t see him again”.
Another witness told the inquest the boys all held hands to try to help.
He said he went under the water to try to look for Joseph, but couldn’t see him.
One of the group ran to get the lifebelt to throw it in and also called the emergency services.
The coroner was told the teenagers began flagging down cars on the road to ask for help.
At Monday’s proceedings, both boys’ fathers also spoke.
Reuven’s father Joshy Simon said his son used to swim at the Foyle Arena in a closed pool and had swimming lessons at school.
He also described his son as kind and courageous.
Joseph’s father, Sebastian Jose, said there should be more signage or warning signs about open-water swimming at Enagh Lough.