A coroner has found the drowning death of a teenage refugee in the Werribee River was accidental.
A 13-year-old boy was with friends when he jumped into the river in Werribee in November 2020.
While his mates knew how to swim, the coroner’s court heard the boy could not and started drowning.
Nearby residents came to help find the boy and emergency services were called, sparking a large search.
His body was found around four hours later, under water and caught in snags at the bottom of the riverbed.
Coroner Leveasque Peterson said the death was an unimaginable tragedy not only for his family but the wider community.
“It is imperative, especially in the lead-up to the next summer season, that the Victorian community is reminded of the danger of unintentional drowning in children in both large and small bodies of water,” she said in her findings.
The coroner also recommended Wyndham Council work with Life Saving Victoria and Melbourne Water, and look at installing safety signs at popular swimming spots.
Picture: SES crews at Werribee River in November, 2020 [Geelong Broadcasters]