A devastated dad of a teenager who drowned during the scorching heatwave didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye to his beloved son.
Bradley Lulendo, 14, died after getting into difficulty while swimming with friends at a North Dublin beach on Monday.
His dad Tony was at his son’s bedside when he lost his life after he had been airlifted to hospital.
“I really loved him and I miss him so much,” he said at his central Dublin home as he held up a photograph of his teenage boy.
Mr Lulendo, who is originally from Angola but has lived in Ireland for 25 years, held back tears as he revealed friends who were with Bradley tried to save him.
“The water was too strong for him and he was carried away,” he told Dublin Live :
“He was with four friends and they did everything they could to save him.
“Two had to be taken to hospital as well.”
Mr Lulendo got a call from Bradley’s mum to alert him to the incident and he raced to hospital to be by his son’s bedside, but he never got to say farewell.
The heart-struck dad added: “He was not able to talk.
“The police tried to talk to me but I was crying so much that they did not get a chance to talk to me.
“Then the doctor told me he had died. I miss him. He was a very happy child.”
Bradley, from Richmond Road in central Dublin, was swimming in the sea with three pals at Burrow Beach, known locally as ‘Hole in the Wall’ beach on the Howth peninsula.
It is understood he got into difficulty at around 7.30pm and the alarm was raised.
Lifeguards on duty at the Lifeguard station went to his assistance.
Howth Inshore lifeboat was also tasked with the rescue operation along with Howth Coastguard Shore team.
Bradley was brought ashore in the lifeboat and later airlifted to Beaumont Hospital onboard Rescue 116.
He was later transferred to CHI Temple Street where he later died from his injuries.
Fingal County Council confirmed there were three lifeguards on duty at the time of the incident and alerted the Coast Guard.
The council expressed its sympathies to the family and friends of the boy who died and said it is assisting Gardaí with their investigation.