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Tragedy strikes Shawnigan Lake


A teenager visiting from England drowned in Shawnigan Lake on Sunday.

Abdu-Jamal Ottun was touring with his school's rugby team and was due to play the Cowichan Rugby Football Club but disappeared while swimming with his teammates.

Authorities were alerted that the 17-year-old was missing at about 4:50 p.m. "Numerous police, ambulance, and fire/rescue units responded and arrived on scene within minutes," Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Scott Stephen said in a press release issued Monday.

Five minutes after arriving, a Shawnigan Lake Fire Department member located the teen's body under 12 feet of water.

"The victim was brought to a nearby dock, where waiting BC

Ambulance Service paramedics worked to revive him," Stephen said. Despite their best efforts, the first responders were unable to save him.

"Jamal was a very keen sportsman, be it on the rugby pitch, the running track or excelling in virtually any other sporting activity," said Jonathan Wilden, headmaster of Wallington County Grammar School, where Ottun was a student. "He was a

very generous individual, always looking for the best in people and wanting to help them achieve great things. This tragic event has left a huge hole in the WCGS community, and this is keenly felt by all staff, students and others who have come into contact with Jamal."

The school group has cut its trip short and will be returning to the UK soon.

Shawnigan Lake School Headmaster

David Robertson called it "a very sad accident."

"Obviously, the group is in shock and they have made arrangements to curtail their tour and return home," Robertson said. "Our deepest condolences are with them and the family."

The investigation has been turned over to the BC Coroners Service. Police have already ruled out foul play.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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