POLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) —Sadness and shock have spread through the state following the death of 13-year-old Rayan A. Issa who went to Lewiston Middle School, and died while on a field trip at Range Pond on Tuesday.

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Rayan Issa in the Lewiston Middle School yearbook.

With the sadness has come frustration as many of the people at Range Pond as well as some of the students at Lewiston Middle School have been reaching out on social media to express concern over what may be perceived to be a lack of urgency to help the student.

Alexis Caron was at the State Park with her family and said she was shocked at how no one seemed to be terribly concerned about where Issa was.

"It was like they were looking for a lost earring" said Caron. "There were no screams, no signs of panic."

Lewiston middle schooler dies while on school field trip to Range Pond

The Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who was at the Range Pond State Park on Tuesday and may have witnessed all or part of the incident to please call them at (207) 753-2599.

Police say Rayan was underwater for more than 20 minutes on the field trip at Range Pond State Park in Poland.

Officials say the seventh-grader from Lewiston Middle School was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon.


According to superintendent Bill Webster, the middle schooler was playing football in a roped off area in the water when he slipped and fell.

Students notified lifeguards and support staff right away according to Webster. The water was reportedly murky and deep. The boy was found unconscious after about a 20-minute search.

Webster says the community is shocked and saddened by the accident.

According to John Bott the Director of Communications for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the lifeguard on duty Tuesday gave the standard safety talk which consists of:
• The lifeguard introduces him or herself to the group,
• They identify where the bathrooms are and highlight park rules such as carry in carry out,
• Provide the group with the lifeguard coverage schedule of the day. Inform them if both lifeguard stands have guards that day or if only one stand has a guard which stand it is. Inform them of the guarded sections of beach and the unguarded sections of beach.
• Reminder that if there are members in the group that do not swim well that there should be strict limits set by the group for their safety.
• Advise them to be within 50 yards of the lifeguard stand. Recommend the buddy system.