An evangelical pastor and a presbyter have drowned after going to a reservoir in Brazil to carry out a baptism.
The pair lost their lives at the Atibainha reservoir, in the south-eastern Brazilian municipality of Nazare Paulista, at around midday on 25th October.
The victims have been named by the police as 40-year-old pastor Davi Santos and 38-year-old presbyter Samuel Sergio.
According to local media, the group had taken part in a baptism of eight people and went in the reservoir to cool down before going home to the city of Guarulhos.
Samuel Sergio got dragged by the current and cried for help, and as he was drowning Davi Santos went in to try to rescue him. However he also got dragged down by the current.
The remaining faithful present at the scene called the emergency services. Sadly when the fire brigade arrived and recovered the bodies of the pair, they were already dead.
An autopsy and a police investigation are underway.
Officer Liliane Doretto, who is leading the case, told local media: “I will conduct the investigation to find out if there was recklessness or negligence.
“But if the believer was playing in the water, then no one is responsible; it’s a fatality. And because he is a person of legal age, no one is responsible for maintaining his physical safety but himself.”
The pair belonged to the Pentecostal ‘Assembleia de Deus’ church, which is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and has 100,000 congregations and 22.5 million followers.
Missionary Jackson Jose Araujo de Jesus told local media: “[Samuel] was very dedicated to what he did at the church and his commitment was surreal. He treated everyone well.”
Pastor Erivan Gomes posted a photo of the pair to social media, which he captioned: “My friends. The news was a big shock. I’ll miss you forever.”
He also described them as “very good people” to local media.
Their friend Lucilene Silva also wrote on social media: “My God, what pain I’m feeling. Losing two friends at once. But I know that God will comfort each one of us.
“Samuel and Davi, great men of God, rest in peace in the Lord’s arms because I am sure that you are already with Him.”