Dubai: An Indian father-of-three died while on a family outing to Jumeirah beach on Saturday morning, his wife and friends told Gulf News.
John Preetam Paul was head of sales at a UAE-based radio channel. He was 41.
The cause of death was not immediately clear, but family and friends said Paul’s body was seen floating in the water a few minutes after he had gone in for a dip in the sea.
Dubai-based Paul is survived by his wife Eveline Alex and three children — daughter Susan (born in 2008) and sons Aaron (born in 2010) and Ryan (born in 2012).
Paul, his three children, his visiting sister and her husband, and friend Cyril Samson had gone to the beach in the wee hours of Saturday, Eveline said.
She added that she had stayed at home with her mother to prepare food for their return. But as it turned out, she received a call from Samson saying Paul “is serious”.
“When I got to the hospital, he was no more,” she said.
“He was quite happy. He had been playing with the kids, saying ‘build sand castles on me’. He went in the water to wash off the sand from himself. Within minutes, he was seen floating. We don’t know yet what exactly happened to him,” she said.
An immediate comment could not be obtained from the police.
Paul’s sister had flown in on Friday from India on a visit to see the family for a few days. Paul also leaves behind his mother and two brothers.
The family in India is making arrangements for his last rites, Eveline said, adding his body will be repatriated to his home city of Bengaluru in south India “as early as we can”, possibly by Sunday.
Family in shock
Samson, 32, told Gulf News, Paul was “a fit and jovial guy” who died unexpectedly, leaving them all in shock.
“We don’t know why he died, we’re waiting for the [medical] report,” Samson said on Saturday afternoon.
“[Paul] had been in the water and had come out. He was perfectly normal. We were on the shore. He then went back in to wash off the sand and within minutes we saw him floating unconscious on the water. He was within the barricades,” Samson added.
“People pulled him out and the lifeguard administered first-aid. The ambulance had been called and he was taken to hospital.”
Samson said: “I knew him for around a year-and-a-half. He had a good social circle and he was very friendly.”
Eveline, who married Paul in 2008, said “he was always there for us — for family, friends and people at work. He was very strong”.