Children die after drowning incident at FGCU, university president says

Published: July 5, 2022 1:25 PM EDT
Updated: July 6, 2022 10:16 AM EDT

Two children, a boy and girl, are dead after they drowned at a Florida Gulf Coast University lake on the Fourth of July.

FGCU President Mike Martin confirmed the deaths in a message to the campus community.

The children were found at FGCU’s Lakefront Beach.

“Yesterday we experienced a tragic event on campus as two children drowned in Lake Como (North Lake Village). Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family, and we thank the first responders from several agencies for their heroic efforts,” Martin said.

Rescuers attempted to save two children found in an FGCU lake on Monday. (CREDIT: Dan Jones)

Rescue crews were called to the area at 12151 FGCU Parkway after 2 p.m. on Monday.

The children were in critical condition after they were pulled from the water, but since then the incident was deemed a death investigation.

LCSO detectives do not believe a crime was committed.

The sheriff’s office released the following statement on Wednesday:

Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the entire Lee County Sheriff’s Office extends their sincere condolences to the family and first responders that responded to a drowning at 12081 FGCU Lake Parkway in Fort Myers. We can confirm two children, ages 12 and 7, passed away. Although the investigation remains active, we do not suspect foul play. Our thoughts are prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

“It does come as a shock to me because I don’t think anything like that would actually happen here,” said FGCU student Connor Morris.

The lake where the children were found connects to the Miromar Lakes Community.

One student, who asked to remain anonymous, saw it all.

“A bunch of cops just started swarming the lake and where the, like around where it happened. But I just thought it was weird. Because all day there was no kids, and there wasn’t any screaming, any noise. Nothing,” the student said. “Whatever happened, like happened fast, obviously. I don’t know. It’s just really scary.”

A memorial at the beach FGCU honors two children who died after drowning. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Morris said there aren’t as many lifeguards as there used to be.

“They need more,” Morris added.

FGCU Campus Recreation posted on Facebook multiple days ago that it was looking to hire lifeguards. WINK News asked a campus spokesperson if there was a lifeguard on duty on the Fourth of July, but so far there has been no response.