Swimmers identified after Newport News drowning

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Two swimmers who drowned in Newport News have been identified as Breon Michael Brevard and Devin Shaquille Smith.

Crews recovered the body of the first missing swimmer Tuesday, and the second was found near a Newport News marina Wednesday morning.

Multiple water and land units with the Newport News Fire Department searched for the two 20-year-old Newport News men, who were seen struggling in the James River near the Menchville Marina around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

According to NNPD spokesman Lou Thurston, the two men were fishing on the shoreline and decided to go swimming. That’s when a current is believed to have carried them out further into the river. Friends of the victims told WAVY News’ Liz Palka, the two men swam across Deep Creek to a sandbar and got caught in the current while trying to swim back.

“I feel sorry for the family and God bless them,” Fisherman Dennis Williams told WAVY.com. He said he warned the two young men about the water conditions before they went swimming.

“‘It’s rough, rough,’ I said. ‘Don’t go back there, because the high tide will get you, and you won’t be able to get back from there.’ And I left it like that, went on and got in my truck and went on about my business. And I come back today and I see two kids are gone,” Dennis said.

“The witnesses actually kept watching them and they never came back up,” said Chief Rick Lauderman with Virginia Marine Police.

Assets from the U.S. Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Newport News Police Department, Newport News Fire Department, Hampton Fire Department, James City County Fire Department and the U.S. Navy all participated in the search.

Lauderman said crews thought they had found the second body twice on Tuesday, but both times they were mistaken.

The state Medical Examiner’s office identified the two men on Aug. 19, and said their cause of death was accidental drowning.

No further information has been released. Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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