Families gather to grieve loss of Ryan Wong, Daniel Persaud, who drowned in Jamaica Bay

NEW YORK — A Queens family is gathering Monday night to remember the life of their 13-year-old son. 

The teen died along with his friend in Jamaica Bay on Friday. 

CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on how the best friends are being remembered. 

Memories of Ryan Wong’s joy is what’s getting his family through their utter devastation. 

“If you were down, you wanted to be happy, or you wanted someone to cheer you up, you would go to him. He would joke around with you. He would do the most,” said Ramona Shiwmangal, Wong’s aunt.   

Like a typical 13-year-old, Ryan’s family said he loved video games, and was always there for his peers. 

“He was like the face of our heart. Being snatched like that, at a young age, it’s hard to even swallow that,” Shiwmangal said. 

Just before noon on Friday, Ryan and his 13-year-old best friend Daniel Persaud drowned in Jamaica Bay, after police say they were standing on a sand bar and became submerged in the water. 

“It’s like I get broken up every time I’m by myself. Like, when I’m in the house,” said Brith Persaud, Daniel’s father. 

Daniel’s father describes his son as a shy and happy kid. He said the teenagers skipped school to go to the beach with friends.

About 12 percent of students were absent from MS 137 on Friday. The school’s policy is to send out two robocalls to parents, one at 10:30 a.m. and one at 7 p.m. Voicemails are left if no one picks up. 

Brith Persaud said they didn’t know Daniel wasn’t in school until it was too late. 

“Thirteen years old, what amazing kid. I got no complaints. But that’s the first time that you ever make an incident like that. It caused his death,” he said. 

Now, two families are planning funerals for teenagers who still had so much more living to do. 

Persaud’s family is planning a vigil to remember his life at the Gateway National Recreation Area at 7 p.m. 

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