The 15-year-old boys who drowned Monday evening in Budd Lake in Mount Olive Township, Morris County, were identified as Clyde Schimanski III and Nicholas Cianciotto III, NBC-TV, Philadelphia, reported.
Morris County acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said the boys "were deeply loved by their families and friends."
Friends said they believed the boys were ice fishing when they fell in, The (Newark) Star-Ledger said.
Rescue workers converged on the lake about 6 p.m. Monday after local residents reported hearing screams, The New York Times reported. A helicopter aided teams from the Budd Lake Fire Department and Budd Lake First Aid and Rescue Squad.
William Hardy, who lives on the lakeshore, told The Star-Ledger he and his housemate heard cries for help. He said he saw a blue light, possibly from a cellphone and could hear at least two voices when he ventured on to the ice but said he had to stop about 100 feet away because of thin ice.
He said he heard cries: "Please help me -- I don't want to die."
"Imagine screaming and knowing you're going to die," Clyde Schimanski Jr. said of his son. "He died a horrible death."