Man who died at Saskatoon pool identified
The man who died at a public pool in Saskatoon has been identified as Muhammad Naqash Ali, 27, a new resident of the city who was taking courses at the local SIAST campus.
Ali had been in Saskatoon since early May. International students of SIAST are provided with swimming pool passes.
On June 8 at around 9:15 p.m., Ali was found unresponsive under the water at a city-owned swimming pool. Attempts were made to resuscitate the man, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival at St. Paul's Hospital.
School officials said Tuesday that counselling has been undertaken to help Ali's fellow students and staff at SIAST.
"We've got the program head along with one of our counsellors dealing with the students that were a classmate of this individual and also speaking with the staff, because they are as equally impacted by the shocking news," Gerry Bonsal, the campus director, said.
Bonsal also said the school's policy of providing pool passes is under review.
While it was not clear what level of proficiency Ali had in the water, a group that helps new arrivals to Saskatoon does provide a course in water safety.
Lori Nixon, from The Global Gathering Place in Saskatoon, said they began the swimming course two years ago.
It was developed after a study pointed out that new arrivals are four times more likely to be unable to swim than people born in Canada.
"I think that it's a cultural thing," Lori Nixon told CBC News Tuesday. "Here in Canada going to the beach, going to the lake, swimming in a pool is very mainstream, very normal. That's not the case in other countries."
The Gathering Place currently has 18 adults in its ten-week course, Swimming Without Fear.