Closure For the Drowning Victims’ Families

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The families of two teen boys can now have closure to a tragedy that began on Rockaway’s beach. Both bodies of the teen drowning victims from the October 1 drowning have been recovered.

The families of Gabriel Rice, 16, and Adedayo Adewale, 15, are now facing the reality of the loss of their boys after they went missing in the waters off Beach 96th Street on a rare, warm October day. On early Friday afternoon, October 4, a body was discovered on the bayside of the Breezy Point tip. The person was declared deceased at around 1 p.m. By the next day, police confirmed that this was the body of one of Tuesday’s drowning victims—Adedayo Adewale. Two days later, after 5 p.m., police responded to a report of a body floating in the water off of Glass Bottle Beach, an area in Brooklyn near Dead Horse Bay and Floyd Bennett Field. The body was recovered and brought to a nearby marina, where the person was declared dead. By the next day, this was confirmed to be the body of the second victim, Gabriel Rice.

While the findings bring closure to the families, friends, and the staff and classmates at Ozone Park’s High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, where the boys attended school, they now face the grief of their worst fears confirmed. Both families are in the process of planning funeral arrangements. For Adewale, his family is preparing to return his body to his native country of Nigeria.

A classmate of the boys has started an online fundraiser to help the families cover some of the funeral costs. The families are in touch with the fundraiser’s organizer. If you’d like to donate, head to www.gofundme.com/f/gabe-and-dayo

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