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Friday 24 November 2017

Mother 'in shock' after son's drowning

Edel O'Connell

THE mother of a young Irishman who died in a swimming accident in Australia has said her family is in "deep shock" and that she wants her son's body brought home.

Keith Flower (27), from Willow Grove in Clondalkin, Dublin, died after he and another man dived, fully clothed, into Melbourne's Yarra River.

A British bar worker has been hailed as a hero for plunging into the river after the two men got into difficulty. Sadly, he was only able to save one of them.

Last night, Keith's distraught mother, Maria Flower, told the Irish Independent that her family was suffering from shock since the accident.

"We are all terribly shocked," she said. "Words can't describe it. All we want now is to get our son back."

Mr Flower had been working in Melbourne when the accident occurred.

Barman Dave Brearley (22), from Manchester, said he had earlier heard some tourists at the bar discussing swimming across the river and he warned them not to, saying: "It's filthy."

About 10 minutes later, when he heard screaming and realised they had entered the water, he dived in and managed to rescue one of the men.

As Mr Brearley dragged one man to safety, the man told him that his friend was still in the river and was "under the water".

Some onlookers then jumped in to help Mr Flower but had to be rescued themselves.

The men entered the water near Federation Square, a popular entertainment precinct in Melbourne's city centre.

The two men had reportedly jumped in as a prank and were both wearing jeans. The river has been the scene of several apparent drowning involving tourists.

In 2008, the body of a 28-year-old Irish tourist, Stephen King, was recovered, reportedly after a night out nearby.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is offering consular assistance to the family.

Irish Independent

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