Police ID swimmer pulled from Smithfield pond

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The medical examiner will determine the cause of death of a man pulled from Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield Tuesday night.

Police confirmed Wednesday afternoon Christian Araujo, 19, of Pawtucket died while swimming with friends.

Deputy Chief Dave Chartier said they were notified of a possible missing swimmer at about 8 p.m. Tuesday. First responders were told he was trying to swim back to the mainland from a nearby island when he went under.

According to the deputy chief, the group was swimming in a restricted area of the pond, where the waters are approximately 15 to 20 feet deep. There were no lifeguards on duty.

“Once you’re in the water, it drops off really quick there,” Chartier explained. “We try to, or the town tries, to keep people in the beach area.”

Chartier on Wednesday said the swim to the island tempts many, but it’s longer than people think and there’s no places to stop and rest. In addition, the pond is filled with cold springs that can affect someone’s body on a hot day like Tuesday.

Back in September of 2015, 19-year-old Augustin Kabura of Providence died from an apparent drowning while swimming with friends in the same location.

Chartier said he’s responded to 10 drownings in the restricted area of the pond during his career.