The death toll of the recent Apam beach downing incident has increased to 13, according to the Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, Richard Gyan Mensah.

Giving details about the incident on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, the legislator explained that information available to him indicates that a high tide swept across the shore where the teenagers were swimming, dragging a number of them further into the sea.

“Sadly, only two of the victims survived but they were in critical condition. They were immediately rushed to the St. Luke Catholic Hospital in Apam where they were treated and discharged the next day.

“Mr Speaker, it is extremely devastating to report that the bodies of now 13 teenagers who were rescued from the sea include 11 boys and 2 girls. All of them are in their early teens,” he informed the House.

He continued, “Out of the 13 dead, 10 have been identified by their family members, it is our hope that the remaining 3 will be identified by their family, search for the remaining bodies is still ongoing.”

Commiserating with the bereaved families, Mr Mensah quoted Psalm 41:1-2 from the Bible and asked God to be their refuge and strength.

“I use this platform to express my heartfelt gratitude to the bereaved families and continue to pray that the good Lord himself will strengthen and console them as we continue to pull together the needed resources to support in such a difficult time.”

The Gomoa West further commended the fisher folks and residents of Apam for coming together to rescue the teenagers and supporting the security agencies to carry out their task.

Contributing to the statement the Interior Minister, Ambros Dery observed that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the security agencies are committed to investigating what led to the demise of the children.

He also cautioned the public against making unsubstantiated allegations against the victims.

Taking his turn, MP for Pusiga, Lardi Ayamba also asked the government to ensure that lifeguards are deployed to our beaches to prevent the occurrence of any such incidents in the future.