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256A Tragedy in Chelsea

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    Jun 9, 2004

      Hi All,

      Sorry to be the nearer of bad news.  This evening  a 12 year old girl died at the dock off Mary O'Malley Park in Chelsea.  She reportedly leapt into the water to escape the heat and never returned.

      Members of the Mystic Watershed Collaborative were on the Everett Police Boat inspecting a new EMPACT Site location on the Malden River when the call came in. Nancy Hammett, Julie Horiwitz, John Durant and Lisa Brukilacchio were shanghaied into service and assisted in the search. After searching for just over an hour the girl's body was recovered by the Boston Fire Department Dive Team just off the O'Malley Dock .

      As we were returning to the dock, the Everett Police Boat was very subdued. Nancy was the first to speak and we discussed how as advocates of waterfront access we share a responsibility to ensure that those who come to our waterfront are kept safe.  We discussed how this young ladies death should serve as a reminder to all of us that water safety education should be a component of all our advocacy programs.

      The Everett Police Department and Everett Cable Television created a water and boating safety video last year and it is available to any organization, agency or municipality upon request. (Ironically the dramatic rescue enactment was videotaped at the Mary O'Malley Park.) The production is obviously local and has but a simple message yet might be useful to you. Please email me and I will provide a copy at no charge.

      I am posting this on multiple list-serves and email lists in the hope of fostering a sharing of resources for water safety. If you have materials, programs, etc, please "reply to all" and let us know of their availability.

      Below please find a link to a NECN story and an AP story of tonight's tragic event.





      Wednesday, June 9, 2004 9:07 PM

      Authorities search for young girl in water off Chelsea

      (Chelsea - AP) — A twelve-year-old girl drowns while swimming with friends in Chelsea.

      Chelsea police say Jacqueline Petit-Frere was swimming with a group of friends off Mary O'Malley Park this afternoon when it appears strong winds and the tide carried her away from shore.

      Captain Brian Kyes says friends tried to help the sixth-grader but she went under in about 20 feet of water just after 5 p-m. The girl was recovered an hour later and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

      Chelsea and state police, the Coast Guard and private boats aided in the search.

      Kyes says the area where the girl drowned is not a designated swimming area but local children often go there to cool off in hot weather like today, when temperatures soared into the 90's.

      The incident remains under investigation.

      Officer Patrick Johnston
      Everett Police Marine Division