181208 Dileepkumar Raveendran
Raveendran and his family were relaxing at the beach in Abu Dhabi as the children’s grandmother had come from India Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: An Indian man died shortly after saving his two children who were drowning while swimming on the beach on Friday morning.

Dileepkumar Raveendran, 39, jumped into the waves that swept away his children but he managed to reach them and made sure he held their head above the water as he swam back to the shore safely, a family friend told Gulf News on Saturday.

However, he collapsed just after reaching the shore and handing over the children safely to his wife and mother-in-law, who were helplessly witnessing the incident, said C.A. Deepak who reached the beach immediately in response to a frantic call from Raveendran’s wife.

181208 al raha beach auh
The beach near Al Raha in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

“When we [with a friend] reached there around 11.50am, an ambulance also reached the spot. He [Raveendran] was lying on the beach and paramedics administered CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but he could not be revived,” said Deepak, a family friend.

The ambulance took Raveendran’s body to Al Rahba Hospital where doctors confirmed his death. “He suffered a suspected heart attack due to the shock of the incident; but we have to wait for the death certificate to confirm it,” Deepak said.

The two school going children — his daughter Devika, 9, and son Aryan, 6 — were unharmed but shocked by their father’s death who was playing with them on the beach, while their mother Lakshmi and her mother were watching them. The family were enjoying a nice time as the children’s grandmother came on a visit from their native town of Kollam in the South Indian State of Kerala.

He suffered a suspected heart attack due to the shock of the incident; but we have to wait for the death certificate to confirm it.

- C. A Deepak, Friend of the victim

“They used to visit this beach [near Al Raha on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city] very often. Probably it is their favourite place,” Deepak said.

He said the family left for the beach around 10.30am from their nearby home and might have played on the beach around one hour before the tragic incident happened.

Raveendran, a health and safety manager with a construction company in Dubai, has been living in the UAE for more than 10 years. “I had worked with him a year only; but he became one of my good friends. He used to call me every week, even if I did not call him. He valued friendships a lot,” Deepak said.

A colleague said Raveendran was a calm and quiet person who became a close friend of all colleagues. “That’s why we all colleagues have been with his family since we came to know about the incident. We still can’t believe it; we all are shocked,” said Noufal Mambarakal, an electrical engineer.

Mambarakkal said he and his colleagues were trying to complete the official formalities for repatriating the body by Sunday. The family members will accompany the body. Since Raveendran’s wife is a homemaker, the family may relocate to Kerala, the friends said.