Two college students from Saudi Arabia, who were studying civil engineering in the United States, are being hailed as heroes after they lost their lives while trying to save two young children from drowning in a river in Massachusetts.
The young men were identified as 27-year-old Theeb Alyami from University of Hartford in Connecticut, and 25-year-old Jaser Daham Alrakah from Western New England University. They were about to graduate in a few weeks – an event their families had been excitedly waiting for, as it meant they would finally return home after spending past couple of years in the U.S.
The tragic incident took place in the Red Bridge Road area in Wilbraham. According to the reports, two children from a local family were swimming in the Chicopee River when they began struggling because of the strong current.
The two Saudi students, who were reportedly having picnic near the spot, saw the distressed children and decided to jump in. Fortunately, the children were saved, but the two heroic men were swept away in the current. By the time police received a rescue call for a group of swimmers, it was too late to save them.
One of the victim’s body was recovered a day later, while other’s was found a day after that.
Alrakah’s university has since released a statement mourning his death.
“The entire Western New England University community joins with Jaser's family and friends in mourning his tragic loss. By all accounts, he died coming to the aid of others. The University is working with the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to support Jaser's family during this difficult time,” it said.
University of Hartford President Greg Woodward also issued a statement.
“We will mourn this terrible loss together. In the days ahead, we will work with Theeb's family to determine the most appropriate way to honor his memory,” he said.
Meanwhile, the families have not reportedly received the bodies as of yet. Though grieving the loss of their loved ones, they are taking comfort in the fact Alrakah and Alyami died trying to save innocent children, reported Gulf News.
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