Tuesday 21 January 2020

Investigation underway after Irishman (19) drowned in Spanish lake

Members of the Spanish Civil Protection Unit at the scene Photo: EPA
Members of the Spanish Civil Protection Unit at the scene Photo: EPA

Gerard Couzens and Payu Tiwari

An Irish teenager has tragically drowned in a lake in Spain.

The 19-year-old disappeared on Saturday during a visit to the Las Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park between the provinces of Ciudad Real and Albacete.

Sources said he was born in Nigeria but had emigrated to Ireland with his family and lived in Portlaoise, Co Laois. He has been named locally as Joshua Osahon.

According to Spanish police, the Guardia Civil and local fire service units of the Sepei de Albacete were called to the park at 10.30pm on Saturday.

His body was recovered yesterday at around 3.30pm by divers.

His parents flew to Spain late yesterday.

They flew to Madrid and were picked up in the Spanish capital before being driven to a hospital in Albacete 250km south to see their son’s body ahead of the post-mortem.

Television network Castilla-La Mancha reported that the young man was living nearby and studying on a language programme.

A spokesperson for the Albacete fire serviced confirmed the body of an Irishman was recovered.

A postmortem is due to take place at the Perpetuo Socorro Hospital in Albacete today.

Francisco Garcia Cano, a councillor in the municipality of Ossa de Montiel said: “It appears the alarm was sounded as the foreign volunteers and Spaniards the Irish lad was with were picking up their belongings and heading back to their coach.

“There were a lot of people in the water and they hadn’t noticed anything was amiss until they realised one of the party was missing.”

Local Civil Guard confirmed the deceased man was traveling on an Irish passport.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs refused to comment on the case.

TOWN hall officials in Villanueva de los Infantes have offered their condolences to the teenager's family.

A statement released by council officials in the municlpality, where the Irishman was staying as part of a language exchange programme said: “Villanueva de los Infantes town hall offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young man who died this weekend at the Ruidera Lakes.

“The young man, who was Irish, travelled from the rural tourism complex where he was staying, called ‘El Retiro de Don Quijote’, as part of an activity included in the language programme he and the other participants were taking part in.

“We would also like to thank the officers and teams involved in the search operation for their work since this young man disappeared.

“We deeply regret the tragic outcome.”

An autopsy which took place around midday today concluded Joshua had drowned.

Further tests are now expected to take place.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News