Firefighters recover body of missing child in Portsmouth

Photo: WPRI / Perry Russom

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — The body of a young boy who went missing in the water off Portsmouth’s Blue Bill Cove Friday has been recovered, state officials said Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Management said the body was recovered shortly after 9 a.m., not far from where the boy entered the water Friday evening.

Deputy Chief Michael O’Brien of the Portsmouth Fire Department said Saturday that the 911 call came in at about 5:45 p.m. Friday, reporting a swimmer in distress near the Cedar Island Recreation Center. Fire crews were on scene within minutes and were told that the 12 year-old boy was in the water, and suddenly found himself in deep water and gone under.

O’Brien said that family members had tried to find the boy and pull him out but could not find him; Portsmouth firefighters were joined by first responders from about a dozen other departments. The State Police provided a unit equipped with sonar to search underwater in what firefighters described as very low-visibility conditions.

The search was suspended around midnight and divers returned to the water Saturday morning, finding the boy’s body shortly thereafter.

No other information regarding his identity has been released.

UPDATE: DEM officials corrected the boy’s age from 11 to 12 Saturday afternoon.

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