Tuesday, July 19, 2011

British student's body found in Amazon after jumping in 'despite not being able to swim'

18th July 2011
Source: Daily Mail

The body of a British student has been recovered from a lake in the Amazon rainforest.

Olakunle Teniola, 20, is believed to have jumped into the Acajatuba lake in Brazil - even though he did not know how to swim.

He went missing on Tuesday while working as a missionary near the city of Manaus.

His tutor at Coventry University, where he was studying for a BA in Youth Work, said he was 'popular with the students and staff.'

Kunle, as he was known to friends, was 'a very committed Christian', according to a university spokesman.

'His faith was everything to him,' a close friend added.

Fellow-student Benson Akinsola said that Kunle was very keen to spend his summer as a missionary. He said: 'When he heard about the charity's work, there was no doubt he was going to do it.'

At the time of his death, Kunle was travelling on a boat across the lake to a nearby village. Leaders of the trip invited those on board to have a swim in the middle of the lake.

Search: Villagers and fishermen helped look for Kunle's body

Kunle jumped in with a friend, but only the friend emerged. A search operation involving the navy, local villagers and fishermen was quickly mounted, and his body was found a few days later.

Friends expressed surprise at Kunle's decision to jump in the lake. Mr Akinsola said, 'There's no way he would be going into the water, he is scared of the water.'

Brazil: Manaus is the capital of Amazonas state

After Kunle's disappearance, his aunt said, 'The family are not good. I am in the middle of planning his 21st birthday party.'

A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We can confirm the death of a British national in Manaus, Brazil on Tuesday July 12.

'We are providing consular assistance to his family at this very difficult time.'

Peaceful: But Lake Acajatuba was the scene of Kunle's tragic death
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