It was a tragic day in Long County on Tuesday as a young boy drowned just a week before graduation.
The boy drowned in a borrow pit on Louvanda Lane off of Joe Kennedy Road.
According to Long County Emergency Management Agency Director Bob Hesley, Joserath Barahona Perez had been swimming with some friends just before 3 p.m. when he began to struggle.
A friend tried to help but was unable to rescue Perez. He went under about 100 feet from shore and did not resurface.
Hesley said 12 first responders went in the water where Perez was last seen. One area was 20-feet deep, causing some concerns for rescuers.
The Wayne County Dive Team went in, and half an hour later they found Perez's body. He was set to graduate from high school next week and just had his graduation practice on Tuesday before he went swimming.
"He was graduating in May," said Pastor Angelina Rivera. "This is a tragedy. We are all hurting. I hope all of us will meditate and think about decisions we make. They came out to swim and this is what happened."
"It is our understanding three of them were swimming, and one of them had already got to land and one was struggling and his friend was trying to help him," said Hesley. "At some point his friend couldn't help him anymore and he drowned."
The family's pastor said they are migrant workers, and they don't have any savings or any insurance. They hope the community will step up and help this family bury their son.
To make donations, please contact Rivera at 912.547.5452, or contact Ministries Aposento Alto, PO Box 1075, Glennville, GA 30427.