Friends of a nine-year-old boy who drowned at Fort Lauderdale Beach on Labor Day spent the day mourning the loss of their friend and teammate.
The boy, identified as 9-year-old Brandon Myrick, was found unconscious in the water near Seabreeze Boulevard and A1A around 7 p.m., officials and witnesses said. Myrick, was taken to Broward General Hospital where he later died.
Myrick had been swimming with his cousin when the cousin lost sight of him, Fort Lauderdale Police said. When he couldn't find Myrick, the cousin went and found a lifeguard. Witness Luis Mora said there was some confusion as lifeguards tried to find the boy.
Mora saw one lifeguard take the boy from the water and bring him to the beach, where he was rushed to the hospital. But it was too late.
Tuesday morning, Brandon’s Tamarac Cougar little league football coach, Joe Torak, had to break the news to his son about the loss his friend.
“Had to break the news to my son this morning by phone,” Torak said. “He was very upset, crying, and it was just before school, which didn’t help.”
Torak said Brandon was full of personality and while small, played much bigger. Torak said Myrick was one of his best players and played both tight end and defensive tackle for the Cougars.
“Usually just his smile and from a coaching standpoint, he was a phenomenal player,” Torak said. “He played almost every play, played both sides of the ball and was a kid the other players looked up to, to be as good as him.”
Torak said early Tuesday morning, a teammate’s parent started an online fundraiser to help with the costs of a funeral. The fundraiser hopes to give Brandon a final goodbye that Torak said “he deserves.”
“Brandon’s family, unfortunately, wasn’t very well off and this isn’t an expense you would expect with a nine-year-old,” Torak said.