Two boys aged 16 died shortly after being pulled from the water at Lough Enagh, Co Londonderry on Monday evening, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) revealed.

The officers' statement relayed that officers were called shortly after 6:25 pm on Monday to reports of a number of people in difficulty in the water.

Inspector Brogan detailed the incident and said, "One male was taken from the water and transferred to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A second male was located and recovered from the water after extensive searches by Foyle Search and Rescue and police divers. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene."

The inspector added that while a full investigation is currently underways, initial examination of the bodies indicates their deaths were a result of a "tragic drowning".

Meanwhile, police in Londonderry are asking people to avoid the area while emergency response and police investigations are ongoing.

Lough Enagh is a pair of lakes between Judges Road and Temple Road in Maydown that is known for being a popular fishing location.

It is believed that the two boys were leisurely swimming in the area when the tragic accident befell them. Three other males were also rescued from the location, with an officer describing their condition as "shocked but not injured."

On Tuesday's BBC "Good Morning Ulster" programme, alliance councillor Rachael Ferguson passed her condolences to the family. She was able to speak to the boys' families at the scene and believes that when one boy got into difficulty, the other boy went in to help him and was unfortunately pulled under.

Father Michael Canny said the families – who are part of the Syro-Malabar community - were well known in the waterside area of Derry.

He said, "The families are in the city [for] over 20 years, and these boys were born here and went to school here, two of the parents also work in the healthcare sector, so there will be [a] great shock in the waterside area and as well throughout the city today."

Representation. Photo: Pixabay