SPANAWAY, Wash. - Two brothers, 14 and 15, drowned in Spanaway Lake Sunday afternoon, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
The 911 call was made just after 3:30 p.m. The first deputy was on the scene within two to three minutes. The dive team arrived within ten minutes.
Sergeant Jake Greger said the divers went in the water and within two minutes pulled one of the boys from the lake. The second brother wasn’t found for another half hour, according to Greger.
“The first one went under. The second one was calling for help from the water, that’s what alerted people there was an issue,” said Sergeant Greger. “He went down to save his brother and then he never came up, unfortunately.”
Greger said first responders used life-saving measures including CPR, but the boys were pronounced dead at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.
“Neither of the boys were strong swimmers. They did not have life jackets on. They did have a floatation toy with them, which I think the second boy abandoned when he went to dive down to find his brother,” said Sergeant Greger.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner on Monday identified the boys as Hamadi Musa, 14, and Ramadani Mberwa, 15.
Families witnessing the drowning said they were traumatized.
Christopher Burns was on his jet ski when first responders arrived at Spanaway Park.
“A lot of these spots out here are really mucky and a lot of these spots have milfoil, so it could’ve been, even if they’re good swimmers, they could’ve gotten stuck,” said Burns.
The boys were swimming in the designated swim area by the dock. They were at the park with family.
Signs warn that lifeguards are not on duty. Families who witnessed the drowning wonder if having lifeguards would’ve made the difference.
“If you’re not a strong swimmer, wear a life jacket. That’s the most important thing,” said Sergeant Greger.