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Two Drown After Canoe Capsizes At Falls Lake

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DURHAM COUNTY — Two men drowned when their canoe tippedover in Falls Lake, but first were able to help save the 8-year-oldboy with them.

Jose Rivera, 21, was sitting on the shore about 100 yards fromthe boat when it capsized about 4:30 p.m. Sunday and he heard theboy screaming. He ran toward the voice and saw one of the men inthe water, holding the boy above his head.

"I went in and brought out the kid on my back," Rivera said inSpanish.

When Rivera turned around after bringing the boy to shore, hisfriends had slipped beneath the water's surface.

Apparently unaware that 911 dispatchers can handle calls frompeople who do not speak English, Rivera and the boy's mother, whoalso was on shore, drove back to Durham to find another friend whospeaks English. He called 911 about 5:30 p.m., about an hour afterthe canoe tipped over.

Rescue workers had pulled both bodies from the lake by lateSunday.

Antonio Parra, who lives next door to the men and called 911,identified them as Fermin Rocha and Jose Hernandez, both in theirmid-30s and from the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Hernandez, who was self-employed, was the father of the8-year-old boy in the canoe, Joseph, and a baby girl. Joseph wasunharmed.

Rocha's friends said he had a wife and two children in Mexico.

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