A student who drowned in a tragic accident at a popular lake 200km southeast of Perth has been remembered as a “humble and disciplined” person who arrived in Australia with a dream of helping his loved ones in his native Kenya.
Family and friends are still grappling with the loss of Orville Tures, who died Sept. 10 at Stockton Lake near Collie.
His body was recovered from the water by police divers the following day.
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Tures had been accompanying his cousin and four friends on a Sunday drive when they came across the former opencast mine and decided to take a dip.
“He didn’t know the dangers,” family friend Michael Kosgey told 7NEWS.com.au.
“His cousin tried to save him, but it was too late.”
Tures, 23, was a student at the Skills Australia Institute and had arrived in Perth in March.
He was excited about the career opportunities here, excited about furthering his love of distance running and ultimately wanted to “make a difference in the lives of his parents and siblings.”
“He was a very calm, calm guy,” Kosgey said.
“He was humble, disciplined and just wanted to pursue his dreams in Australia.
“He would shine.”
Relatives are about $1,000 short of their $30,000 fundraising effort to repatriate Tures to Elgeyo-Marakwet County in Kenya, sponsor his cousin who accompanied the body on the trip, and contribute to a Funeral service.
Kosgey said the family had been overwhelmed by the influx of donations and support, particularly from Western Australia’s Kenyan community.
A memorial service will be held in Perth on Wednesday and Kosgey is confident Tures’ body will be on a flight from the WA capital on October 2.
The tragedy comes four years after John Rashidi, from Perth, died at the same swimming hole while using an inflatable pool toy.
Stockton Lake was once an open pit mine and is also home to a campground.
The lake is popular for boating and water skiing, but authorities warn that visitors swim at their own risk “as the water is slightly acidic due to previous mining activity.”
“Those with sensitive skin should limit contact with water,” warns the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
“The water can suddenly become very deep and very cold in places, and submerged rocks pose a danger.”