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I watched my pal drown under ice.

A boy of 13 saw his best friend drown in an ice-covered pond yesterday.

John Wales sobbed on the bank as firemen tried in vain to rescue Peter Sinclair, 15.

John's stunned dad James, 37, said last night: "All I can think of is my boy standing crying.

"He'll have to live with that picture of his friend drowning for the rest of his life.

"I wonder if he'll ever sleep again."

He added: "We were fed up warning them not to go on the ice."

Peter died after he and John bunked off school and went to Auchenharvie golf course in Stevenston, Ayrshire, to look for lost balls to sell.

John has told how neighbour Peter fell through the frozen surface of the 12- foot deep pond as he went to grab a ball.

A fireman waded into the freezing water to try and find the youngster but had to give up because of hypothermia.

It took more than five hours to find Peter's body, which was recovered by a police diver at 3.20pm.

Jim, of Landsborough Place, Stevenston, said: "I left my work this morning to go to the bank, and someone told me two children had gone through the ice at Auchenharvie.

"I thought `Imagine the police coming to your door and telling you that your boy had died'.

"Then, at about 2pm, I was told a 15-year-old boy was missing and a 13- year-old had been with him.

"I immediately thought of John and Peter."

Frantic with worry, he rang a neighbour, who gave him the grim news.

Close to tears, Jim added: "You can't be with your kids 24 hours a day.

"We thought they had gone to school but they had bunked off and gone looking for golf balls.

"John said Peter had been on the ice, saw a ball and ran to get it.

"Then he just disappeared.

"John shouted to two golfers. One ran to the abattoir next to the course to raise the alarm and John ran towards the clubhouse bar.

"Until Peter's body was found, John was convinced he would be all right.

"He really is in a state of shock.

"The doctor has been to see him but he says John is too young to get any medication.

"Either myself or my wife will have to sleep with him for the next few nights.

"We are staying with friends tonight because I don't know how John would cope with going back into our street and seeing Peter's house straight ahead of him."

Jim went on: "All I can think about just now is Peter's mum and dad.

"I can't even begin to imagine how they are feeling.

"I am going through hell and my son is alive."

Jim's wife Andrea, 33, who is 16 weeks pregnant, was told of the tragedy as she walked through Stevenston yesterday.

The couple also have an eight-year-old daughter, Heather.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Aitken, Vivienne
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 10, 1997
Previous Article:Jorge: We can win title.

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