Death of Saudi Students Attempting to Rescue Children in Massachusetts, USA

The United States expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Theeb al-Yami and Jaser al-Rakah after their tragic deaths in Massachusetts.

The young men drowned while courageously attempting to save children in distress. Their heroism represents the very best of the international students who enrich communities across the United States. Theeb and Jaser were among the 52,000 Saudi students studying in the United States who bring greater international understanding and diverse perspectives to U.S. campuses and communities, and to Saudi Arabia when they return home.

(Source US. Department of State)

The brother of one of the two students who drowned after they rescued American children in the Chicopee River in the state of Massachusetts, Theeb Man’aa al-Rakah al-Yami, 27, and Jaser Daham al-Rakah al-Yami, 25, who are cousins, revealed the details of how those young Saudis rescued these children after being swept away by the tide.

Awad al-Yami, the brother of Theeb told al-Arabiya.net that his brother along with his cousin Jaser were on a trip last Friday near the Chicopee River in Massachusetts. They saw two children drowning after their mother failed to save them. Also other people present at the time tried to save the children, but failed because of the heavy current. Immediately, the two young Saudis jumped into the river, wrestling with the heavy currents.

Awad said that while they could save the two children, they failed to beat the current and survive as the strong current swept his brother away, which made Jaser try to rescue his uncle’s son but unfortunately they were both carried away and drowned.

At the time, the authorities were informed and the state’s diving team and rescue helicopters searched the river for several hours during the weekend, the body of one of them was pulled out on Friday night while the search for the second body continued until it was found on Monday near Cottage Street.

Awad pointed out that the two young men had high hopes and a vision for the future, and they were always in touch with their families by telephone and weekly via video chat on Snapchat. Awad explained that his brother Theeb is third in the family and Jasser is second in his family. He stated that the two young Saudis were due to return home and marry, but fate had other plans, as he said.

On the other hand, and upon a thorough follow up on the incident of the sacrifice of the two Saudi students, the Saudi Embassy in Washington and through the Saudi Consulate in New York under the guidance of Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, said that it will take all necessary measures to investigate more the circumstances of the incident and assure the return of the two bodies to the Kingdom, offering condolences to both families.

The American media which had a wide coverage about the heroic act of the two young Saudis, reported that the city hall and University were both studied, is looking into honoring and commemorating their life.

A vigil was held by young American kids holding prayer for the two Saudis who lost their lives saving other children. (Supplied)

(Source: AL ARABIYA ENGLISH)