A teenage school boy, Abdul-Jamal Ottun, drowned after allegedly being pushed by his friend into a lake as a joke during a school trip to Canada.
Report by Metro UK revealed that Abdul-Jamal Ottun had two training sessions before joining a group of 25 school pals for a swimming trip to a lake on a Sunday afternoon. The 17-year-old was stood around taking photographs moments before a friend pushed him off a jetty into the water. At the time of the incident he was observing Ramadan but had stopped for the school rugby trip to Canada in 2015.
He was concerned he might struggle with physical activities because he had been fasting, a court heard.
Abdul, known as Jamal, who was known to suffer from asthma, was submerged for around ten seconds at Shawnigan Lake in British Colombia, Canada, several metres from the jetty’s edge. As fellow pupils were playing on the jetty, his pal was also pushed into the water.
Jamal then surfaced looking annoyed and asked who had pushed him in but disappeared again in the lake, which at its deepest is three metres. Jamal was eventually discovered beneath the jetty after two members of staff had spent several minutes searching and the Canadian school’s education leader took to the water with a paddle board.
Emergency services conducted CPR for around half an hour before resuscitation was stopped. Pal Brume Umukoro struggled to fight back tears as he told of the moment he desperately searched for his friend before raising the alarm.
He said: ‘We were on the jetty and we were taking photos and he handed his phone over and then he was standing by the edge talking to someone so I pushed him into the water. ‘My friend then pushed me into the water. He was pushed in off the end of the jetty and I was pushed off the side, we were not very close.‘I came up and started speaking to my friend who pushed me in and I did not think to look for Jamal until I got back onto the jetty and I realised he was not there, I could not see him.
‘We started looking for him, I did not know if he was still in the water. ‘At one point we decided to look on land because we were not sure if he had got out of the water, I went to look because I could not see him.
‘I remember waiting for him to come up. I expected him to come up immediately and he did not.’
When asked how long Jamal was under the water for Brume replied: ‘Maybe ten seconds, it was longer than we had expected.’ Back in Britain Brume was told by head teacher Jamie Bean that Jamal’s death was a ‘freak accident’ and that he should not feel responsible for the boy’s death.
Brume said: ‘I felt responsible and I was told not to feel responsible.
‘He said there was a multitude of reasons for for why he could have gone under without struggling and that it was a freak accident and that it was not my fault.’
The bi-annual trip organised by Wellington County Grammar School, rated ‘outstanding’ by Osfted, had conducted a risk assessment for the trip.
But the only swimming risk assessment was for a teacher to visit the lake the night before with a teacher from a Canadian school before telling the boys where was safe to swim.