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Drowning in Royal Palm Park Shocks The Community

At approximately 7pm Tuesday September 29th, 2020 a BSO helicopter was heard flying above the north side of Royal Palm Park in Oakland Park. In front of the park and in the parking lot were Oakland Park Fire Rescue and several BSO officers. The helicopter, BSO and Fire Rescue were intently looking in the lake on the east side of the park’s north end. One BSO officer that was cordoning off the area was asked for details, but she said that due to the fact that it was an ongoing investigation she could not share details. She did add that there was no risk to the public. 

Photo: Angelina Ávila
Photo: Angelina Ávila

Divers are Called in to Dive in the Lake

As the time passed learned that a person, most likely a male, had gone into the lake for a swim and had not come back. Divers from the City of Sunrise Fire Rescue were called in to dive in the lake. Upon arrival one of the divers asked if this was a recovery mission. At that point it was understood that whoever was in the lake had drowned. 

After nearly an hour in the water the head diver for the City of Sunrise Fire Rescue asked for a body recovery bag. Soon after the body was put inside and we were asked to leave the scene as they lifted it out of the lake.

Later in the evening BSO Public Information Officer confirmed the facts had obtained regarding the incident:

“At approximately 6:39 p.m. Broward County Regional Communications received a drowning call at Royal Palm Park located at 1701 N.W. 38th Street in the city of Oakland Park. When Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they learned an adult male had entered a nearby lake and possibly drowned. Members from BSO’s dive team responded, along with members from Sunrise Fire Rescue’s dive team, and the adult male was located and pronounced deceased on scene. Crime scene and homicide detectives are investigating the circumstances behind this death”.

At 10:53 PM BSO was still on the scene investigating the circumstances behind the drowning. No further information about the victim will be released until the next-of-kin have been notified.  

A Shock to the Community

As we covered the event live in the Facebook group it was evident that the drowning shocked the community.

Rebecca Petrone commented: “As a mom, I just can’t imagine, regardless of how old or young, this is someone’s child, brother, sister, mother, or father, the poor family…“.

Angela Brown Rice shared: “So sad. I heard someone went swimming and didn’t return“.

Malena CataLeya conveyed her sadness: “As a mother of 3, this breaks my heart“.

Photo: Angelina Ávila

Many remembered the drowning of a young boy about 15 years ago. The boy had gone into the lake to get a basketball and began to drown. A passerby tried to save him but was unable to and he drowned. The chainlink fence around the court was put up after this incident. 

We are not sure of the details that caused the drowning or the name or age of the victim, but we are all sure that this drowning was another tragedy all too close to home.

Update: Drowning Victim Identified 

9/30/2020 @1:14PM – The victim was 29 year old Frandy Colas (maybe Orev) from Oakland Park.

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* is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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