Family sues Palm Beach County over son’s 2015 drowning death


The family of a 15-year-old Broward County youth who drowned while swimming at DuBois Park in Jupiter two years ago has sued the Palm Beach County Commission for negligence.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the family of Edwin Castañon claims the commission didn’t make sure lifeguards were properly trained to protect swimmers at the Palm Beach County park. His parents, Candido Castañon and Mart Patricia Areiga, both of Broward County, are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

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The teen was swimming with family members in the park near the Jupiter Inlet on Aug. 7, 2015 when they noticed he was struggling, wrote Fort Lauderdale attorney Hyram Montero, who is representing the family. In the lawsuit, he claims lifeguards didn’t properly warn swimmers when the lifeguards were leaving their stations at the end of the day.

His death came two weeks to the day after two Tequesta teens, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, were lost at sea after heading toward the Atlantic on a 19-foot-boat. It also followed by one day the death of Emmitt Jones, 27, while he was diving in the ocean near the inlet, Palm Beach County’s northernmost access point between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue officials said callers told them at the time of the drowning that Castañon may have been caught in the current and pulled out into the inlet. A search by sea and air was undertaken. After roughly an hourlong search, county rescue divers found Castañon about 15 to 20 feet from where he had last been seen, officials said.

County Attorney Denise Nieman said she hadn’t received the lawsuit and declined comment.



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