Ten-year-old Kayla Matos and two of her friends were playing on a raft in a Toms River, New Jersey, lagoon when tragedy struck.

According to ABC 6, Matos and her friends had decided to go swimming in the lagoon behind one of the friends’ homes on June 17. While they played on an inflatable raft, the girls wore life jackets and were under the supervision of an adult at all times.

Sadly, their fun-filled day came to a tragic end when two of the girls reportedly touched the rail of a metal boat lift that was also parked on the lagoon.

As ABC 6 reports, police believe that an electrical current was flowing through the boat lift. When Matos touched the rail, it electrocuted her.


The adults who were chaperoning the girls immediately began performing CPR on Matos, and emergency responders arrived at the home a short time later.

Matos passed away at the Community Medical Center on Sunday morning. The other two girls were reportedly uninjured.

Coming up at 6, Kayla Matos was visiting friends with her family in Toms River when police say the 10 yr old was electrocuted in a freak accident #abc7ny

Posted by Kemberly Richardson on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jim Picuri, a dock master at Penn’s Landing Marina in Philadelphia, told ABC 6 that people must be cautious when using electrical equipment around boats and water. He advised that when people use electrical equipment around their vessels, it’s very important that they make sure circuit breakers are turned off before plugging in their power cords.

According to Boat U.S., here are some other tips you should know about electric shock drowning:

  • NEVER swim within 100 yards of any freshwater marina or boatyard.
  • Have your boat tested once a year to see if it is leaking electricity, or buy a clamp meter and test it yourself.
  • DO NOT use common household extension cords for providing shore power to your boat.
  • NEVER swim within 100 yards of ANY dock using electrical power!
  • NEVER swim off your dock without shutting down all shore power to the boat and the dock.
  • If you’re in the water and you feel tingling or shocks, DO NOT follow your instinct to swim toward the dock! SHOUT! Try to stay upright and back out of the area the way you came, warn any other swimmers in the area of the danger, and then head for shore 100 yards or more from the dock.

A relative of Matos’s, Jessie Lopez, told ABC 6 that the little girl “will be truly missed”:

“It’s like a nightmare we’re living in. It’s just not real. Just not real. She was just a little girl. She loved just simple things. She was very excited for a dance coming up. It’s just very sad. She will be truly missed.”

A GoFundMe has been set up in Matos’s honor.

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