At least four Indian international students drowned in Canada in 2020.
Tragically, international student drowning incidents – resulting in death or serious injury – are a frequent occurrence in many of the most popular English speaking destination markets. Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada – where swimming and activities in and around water are a big part of life – see the most international student drownings.
Three Indian international students drowned in separate incidents during the Canadian summer in 2020.
On Wednesday 17 June 2020, 22 year old Sidharth Assija drowned at Chocolate Lake in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Witnesses said that Sidharth went under the water and did not resurface. Childhood friend Anurag Gagneja said that Sidharth did not know how to swim.
Sidharth traveled to Canada as an international student in 2017. He initially lived in Toronto before moving to Halifax in September 2019.
Manpreet Singh, was swimming with friends on Saturday 25 July 2020 near Entrance Bay at Cultus Lake, BC, when he got into difficulty and drowned.
He was 22 years old.
Manpreet moved to Canada in 2017 from the Punjab region of India. The international student was studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey.
Manpreet’s cousin remembered him as a talented sportsman but said he was not an experienced swimmer.
On Wednesday 30 September 2020, 22 year old Indian international student, Aranyam Bora, drowned while cliff jumping at the Mactaquac Headpond on the Saint John River in New Brunswick.
His body was found by RCMP divers the next morning.
Ary was in great physical condition, and could swim according to friends.
He was a fourth-year St. Thomas University student, majoring in political science and international relations. Aranyam – who often went by “Ary” – was from India and travelled to New Brunswick to study.
Note: In early January 2021, an international student drowned while cliff jumping in Australia.
On Sunday 2 August 2020 Indian international student, Rishabh Shah was canoeing with friends on Halfway Lake
When his canoe overturned, Rishabh fell into the water and drowned.
Rishabh, an international student at Laurentian University, was due to complete his post graduate studies in September 2020. He was 23 years old.
Const. Michelle Coulombe of Ontario Provincial Police said:
None of the occupants in the canoes or kayaks were wearing lifejackets, and they had no lifejackets or PFD’s on board.
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