A family mourn the loss of a Sydney man who drowned after wading in a lake to retrieve his son’s soccer ball.
Tributes are pouring in for a ‘devoted father’ who drowned after walking into a Sydney lake to retrieve his son’s soccer ball.
Fahim Wakili and his two children were playing near Lake Yandelora on Swansona Avenue in Mount Annan, in Sydney’s Macarthur area, on Monday afternoon when the ball was thrown into the water.
The 38-year-old, who couldn’t swim, waded through the water to retrieve the ball just before 5 p.m. when he disappeared below the surface.
Emergency services rushed to the lake as witnesses tried to save it, but it was too late.
Several police officers entered the water looking for Mr. Wakili before divers were called in to help them.
His body was found shortly after 8:15 p.m. on Monday as devastated friends and family gathered by the lake.
Michael Levich saw Mr Wakili disappear underwater, claiming all he saw were bubbles as he jumped after the father of two.
“I jumped after him, but it was too late. I couldn’t do anything, he just went straight underground, ”he said. 7 News.
Neighbors remember the 38-year-old as a devoted father who always went out of his way to spend time with his children.
“After school he would pick up the kids and drive them home,” neighbor Scott Sporne said.
Flowers were left at the scene by family members in memory of Mr Wakili, as tributes poured in on social media.
“RIP to the poor dad who died this afternoon… poor guy was just trying to get his son’s ball out of the lake, never comes back,” Jacob Andrews wrote.
Basim Alansari said he was “shocked” to learn of the death.
“I was shocked today to learn of the loss of a dear friend from my early youth who was an amazing brother, husband and father,” he said.
“Her loss was both heartbreaking and a reminder of the fragility of life.”
Authorities have issued water safety warnings after an increase in drownings statewide.
Superintendent Murray Reynolds said there had been “a number of tragic incidents resulting in the death of persons” in or around the waterways over the past week.
“One of the most difficult aspects of policing is investigating the deaths and understanding that the result was entirely preventable,” he said.