The grieving mother of a 13-year-old who drowned in New York City while he played hooky has criticized the school for not notifying her he had been missing for hours.
After the accident on Friday, mother-of-four Samantha Singh has been left wondering whether Middle School 137 could have avoided the unthinkable tragedy.
Singh, 43, said the school waited until 7 pm to tell her that his son, Daniel Persaud, had been missing since 10 am
Daniel and Ryan Wong, also 13, drowned after their surfboard got caught in a rip current at Jamaica Bay around 11.40 am The surfboard was pulled 30-feet into a deep channel.
The youngsters were rescued and taken to an area hospital but were declared dead shortly after they arrived.
‘They [school] did not call me to let me know he was not in class until hours later,’ the heartbroken mother told The New York Post. ‘They need to inform the parents right away, especially a middle school.
‘We don’t receive a call until 7 pm So, if we could have received a call earlier, I have a track on his phone.’
Samantha Singh (left), 43, the mother of 13-year-old Daniel Persaud (right) who drowned in New York City while he played hooky has slammed the school for not notifying her he had been missing for hours
After the accident on Friday, Singh has been left wondering whether Middle School 137 could have avoided the unthinkable tragedy by calling her sooner
A group of firefighters rush one of the 13-year-old boys who drowned at Jamaica Beach on Friday toward an ambulance. Both boys were on a surfboard with friends when a rip current caught their board and dragged it 30 feet. The two boys reportedly fell off and never resurfaced
The boys, who were from Queens, were among a group of five friends who were celebrating the start of summer when they decided to skip school and go to the beach in Queens, an uncle of one of the boys told the New York Daily News.
The other teenagers reportedly ran up the beach screaming for help, witness Isri Persaud said.
Persaud said the teenagers were waving their arms wildly before exiting the water.
The FDNY deployed nine divers, two helicopters, and boats into the water to search for the boys.
They pulled the first boy out of the water around 12.35 pm The second boy was pulled out 40 minutes later. They were taken to Jamaica Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.
Singh said that the school should have alerted her that Daniel had been missing.
‘I have four kids,’ she told the Post. ‘In this day and age, you have to know where they are all the time. I thought he was in school. Just a couple of hours, I didn’t track him.’
‘The school where my two oldest daughters went, Richmond Hill, they would have called if any of my daughters left school .. Right away!,’ she added.
Their surfboard got caught in a rip current at Jamaica Bay around 11.40 am The surfboard was pulled 30-feet into a deep channel.
Singh said that the school should have alerted her that Daniel had been missing
Witnesses said that both were pulled under water and failed to resurface. They were taken to Jamaica Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead
Singh also told the outlet she questioned why those who saw the children by themselves during a school day did not intervene and attempted to call a parent or adult.
‘The bus that took them, the driver, why didn’t they notice little kids alone?’ she asked.
The distraught woman took to Facebook on Saturday to write a loving tribute to her son.
‘…I am lost for words and my soul is bleeding and our hearts are shattered…our Daniel went away today…oh god I don’t know how we will live past today or any other day,’ Singh wrote.
… you were only 13 years old and went out to a beach to have fun and it carried you away from us.’
Daniel’s wake will be on Tuesday, followed by a funeral on Wednesday.
‘…I am lost for words and my soul is bleeding and our hearts are shattered…our Daniel went away today…oh god I don’t know how we will live past today or any other day,’ Singh wrote
Daniel (pictured) reportedly liked building computers and technology. His family said they were ‘shocked’ that he had skipped school as he usually only goes between home and school
Persaud’s Uncle, Jerry, told the Daily News that the family was ‘shocked’ the young student had skipped school.
‘It’s just shocking because he doesn’t go out much,’ Jerry told the outlet. ‘But he suddenly went out and this happened. It would be just school and home for him.’
‘Everyone is in shock now. The family is devastated.’
Family friend Indra Bisnauth also told the Daily News: ‘They had no idea he left out of school.’
‘It’s a tragedy. It’s so sad. The child is so quiet, you’d never know he’d do this. They just go for fun. I was so shocked to hear that happened.’
The portion of the beach (pictured) that the group of five were at is unguarded and signs warn of strong currents
The 13-year-old reportedly liked building his own computers and enjoyed technology.
Wong’s mother, Gloria Wong, wrote on Facebook: ‘Rest In Peace little Ryan I love you. You will forever live in our hearts.’
The portion of the beach they were at was unguarded and not all of the kids knew how to swim, a police source told the New York Post.
‘This happens all the time … they walked in the water about one to two feet deep, then the channel suddenly drops six to 10 feet deep, and some of these kids could not swim,’ the police source told the Post.
The FDNY sent nine divers, two helicopters, and boats out into the water to search for them. They found the first boy roughly an hour after they drowned and the second one 40 minutes later
There was a large team of firefighters on the scene to help search for the missing boys
There are signs on the beach warning beachgoers about strong currents and sudden drop-offs
NYC Parks, who oversees the beach, said they were ‘saddened’ by the loss, but reminded people to ‘only swim in designated areas where lifeguards are on duty, no matter where you are.’
The portion of the beach the teenagers were swimming in is owned by the National Parks Service, which recently announced closures to parts of the beach to help with erosion.
The beach is closed from 86th Street to 116 Street, but many locals and lifeguards worry people will continue to swim there unsupervised.