African refugee drowns in Grand Canal as tourists look on

A man drowned in the Grand Canal of Venice as tourists looked on, some capturing the event on their phones which is alleged to have happened on Sunday. Pateh Sabally, a 22-year-old Gambian youth was seen failing to keep above water in the famous canal close to a boat with tourists. An investigation has been opened by Italian authorities following the videos appearance on the internet.

In the footage, three life rings are seen thrown into the water, but the man continued to submerge into the water, with speculations raised as to whether he had wanted to commit suicide. Media reports claim that some of the onlookers were shouting profanities and racial comments such as “Go on, go back home,” The Times reported. Another man is alleged to have said “Let him die at this point.”

Sabally had sailed to the country in 2015, and held official residency papers.

Head of the Italian Association of Lifeguards, Dino Basso, said that “I don’t want to blame anyone but maybe something more could have been done to save him,” after no one attempted to jump into the water to save the man.

Image of video taken of Pateh Sabally drowning in Grand Canal, Venice.

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