TWO British boys have died while swimming in a lake in Germany, it was reported.
The brothers, aged seven and nine, were pulled lifeless from the water after being reported missing by their parents.
Police officers at the side of the lake
The boys’ lifeless bodies were found in the waterCredit: Getty
An investigation is underway into the deaths of the two boysCredit: RTL News
The alarm was first raised at 6pm on Thursday evening when the boys panic-stricken parents realised they were missing, Bild reports.
Several police cars rushed to the scene and specialist rescuers then began looking for the pair.
Their bodies were found in the water and emergency services desperately tried to revive them at the scene.
They managed to resuscitate the boys by the side of the lake at Simmerath, near Aachen, and they were then airlifted to hospitals in Aachen and Cologne.
But sadly medics were unable to save them and they were pronounced dead.
No cause of death has been given so far but according to local media reports the boys drowned.
The lake was busy with families with many cooling off in the water in the 31C heat when tragedy struck.
There are no lifeguards on duty at Eiserbachsee Lake during the week.
The two boys had been staying with friends of their parents in Sittard, in the Netherlands.
They travelled to Simmerath, just over the border in Germany and also near to Belgium.
The deaths have shaken the local community and bouquets of flowers were left by water.
Christian Förster, head of Simmerath’s voluntary fire-brigade, said the deaths were “a really, really tragic event”.
He said: “What is of course tragic is that even though so much effort was made, the boys ended up losing their lives.
“I was there on the scene and it was really terrible. When you think about how young these boys were, it is impossible not to be affected by it.
“You just do your job and do your best, and try to focus on the job, and then later it really hits you. How can it not.”
Local mayor Bernd Goffart described the lake as “actually harmless – providing you can swim”.
A sign at the side of the lake says warns visitors: “Caution! Only for swimmers! ATTENTION! Only for Swimmers!”
It is believed boys couldn’t swim, local news outlet rp-online reports – though this has not been officially confirmed.
Aachen prosecutor Katja Schlenkermann-Pitts confirmed the two boys were visiting Germany.
She said their parents realised they were missing at around 5.30pm before the alarm was raised half an our later.
She said: “The search for the two children was initiated promptly.
“Shortly thereafter, the brothers were rescued in the water by the rescue workers and taken by rescue helicopter to the University Hospital in Aachen and a children’s hospital in Cologne, where the children died.
“The public prosecutor’s office in Aachen is currently examining whether there is a suspicion of a criminal offence.”
The deaths come after that of a 16-year-old in the same lake after jumping into save a ten-year-old who got into difficulty.
From January to July, 30 people have drowned in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the lake is located.
That’s 14 more than in the first seven months of the previous year.
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