Man who died in drowning incident was a final-year medical student

Student (26) taken from water near Baily lighthouse in Howth, north county Dublin on Friday afternoon

The  Coast Guard Rescue 116  attended the scene. Photograph: Howth Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Rescue 116 attended the scene. Photograph: Howth Coast Guard

 

A man who died after getting into difficulties swimming off the north Dublin coast was a final-year medical student.

Ali Hejazi, from Saudi Arabia, was pulled from the water off a beach known locally as Hidden Beach near the Baily lighthouse in Howth, on Friday afternoon.

The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) confirmed the 26-year-old was due to complete his studies at the college later this year.

“RCSI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mr Ali Hejazi, final year medical student, who passed away following a tragic drowning accident yesterday,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to The Irish Times.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to Ali’s family and friends at RCSI.”

The Saudi Embassy and Cultural Bureau are providing assistance to Mr Hejazi’s family.

“Unfortunately, due to current restrictions we cannot gather together as a community at this time,” the RCSI spokeswoman added.

“However, a range of supports have been put in place for our students.

“The college flags are flying at half-mast as a mark of respect to Mr Hejazi. May he rest in peace.”

The Irish Coast Guard Rescue co-ordination centre received a 999 call on Friday after a swimmer was spotted in difficulty in the sea off Howth.

The Howth Coast Guard Rescue team, along with Howth RNLI lifeboat and Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were alerted and responded immediately.

The Coast Guard rescue team arrived on scene and brought the man ashore, where paramedics from Dublin fire brigade and the National Ambulance Service treated him.

Coast Guard Rescue 116 winched him aboard the helicopter and transferred him to a waiting ambulance where he was brought to Beaumont Hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

A Garda spokesman described the incident as “a tragic accident”.

The Coast Guard has appealed to people to take care near the water during the Easter weekend and to contact the Coast Guard at 999 or 112 if they think they see someone in trouble.

Anyone who spots someone in difficulty in the water has been urged to stay at the scene, if safe and possible, until help arrives as it makes it easier for the emergency services to locate the person in trouble.