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Uncle of boy who drowned near Gander speaks out about life jackets on social media

Matthew Sargent, 14, drowned while canoeing on Vardy Pond near Gander on Sunday.
Matthew Sargent, 14, drowned while canoeing on Vardy Pond near Gander on Sunday.

Gander, NL - Dwayne Freake, the uncle of Matthew Sargent, the 14-year-old boy who drowned in an accident near Gander over the weekend, is asking people to talk to children about the importance of wearing lifejackets. 

Matthew and two other boys, 14 and 16, were in a canoe on Vardy’s Pond on Sunday when it overturned. The other boys were able to swim to shore and were taken to the hospital in Gander.

Matthew’s body was found a short time later.

Freake has posted a picture of Matthew on his Facebook page he said was taken shortly before the accident.

Freake said life jackets were available but none of the three boys decided to wear them.

“We ask parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to please show this post to the kids in your lives,” he wrote.

“Use Matthew's death to substantiate the reason why adults are always preaching safety. Tell them that it is because we love them and are trying to prevent this type of thing from ever happening.”

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