September 4th, 2005


Summer 2002. Vessels of the Coast Guard and Carabinieri slowly moved around the waters near Scogli Inammorati, two or three kilometres south of the Soccorso Chapel promontory. A police helicopter made repeated low passes over the shoreline and then moved further out. A second helicopter with pontoons joined the search. After about an hour and a half, the helicopters departed but the boats remained the entire day.

They said a 17-year-old boy from Casamiccola named Diego was caught in a strong undertow and was lost, and almost certainly drowned. His friend had tried to save him, but failed. Both were strong and experienced swimmers.

The next morning the pontoon helicopter and the Carabinieri boat returned and resumed the search. But after only an hour they departed. A crowd gathered by the stone wall overlooking the sea. People leaned over, looked down at the waves frothing around dark stones. “There,” one girl said to her sister, pointing. “That’s where Diego and his friend were swimming. And the sea swept him away.”

A drum sounded in the village around noon. The boy's body had been found. Unfortunately it was in pieces, after having been pounded against rocks. His father stood by his silent weeping wife and made it clear to the Carabinieri that no effort should be spared to recover all his son's remains for a proper service at Santa Maria d' Loretta.

A few months later Diego’s father mounted a marble plaque on the stone wall overlooking the rocky shore where his son had departed.

Neither time nor the sea
can ever sweep away your sweetness


You will always be in our hearts.

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