The body of a 17-year-old exchange student from Ghana, who drowned in Mission Bay of San Diego, California, when his kayak – a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat – capsized has been found.
San Diego lifeguards Sunday retrieved the lifeless remains of Abdul Razak Shanun – a basketball star in the making – and identified him as a Ghanaian immigrant, StarrFMOnline.com can confirm.
He immigrated to the U.S. in 2012 when he was offered a scholarship to play basketball for a private school in Massachusetts.
Shanun was reported missing at 3:01 p.m. Saturday and StarrFMOnline.com understands that the body was not found until Sunday morning. According to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson, the body of the Ghanaian teenager was discovered in 25 feet of water at an undisclosed location in the bay.
The 6-foot 8-inch power forward, who had played with different organisations in the USA before landing at Balboa City School, in 2014, was in a rented kayak when it capsized and became separated from his personal flotation device and submerged. UT San Diego reported that witnesses saw him cling to a life preserver for a short time, then he lost his grip on it and sank into the water off Santa Clara Point Recreation Center. According to a local channel, SD6, a tweet from the San Diego lifeguard account said it was believed he had not been wearing a life jacket.
SDFRD dispatched emergency personnel including rescue divers and a helicopter to search for Shanun Saturday, but the search was unsuccessful in Mission Bay’s near-blackout visibility conditions, Swanson said. After about an hour, authorities said the search turned to a rescue operation.
The search resumed Sunday with the use of vessels from the Parks Ranger Lake Team and San Diego Police Department, both equipped with side-scanning sonar, Swanson said. Five lifeguard divers were also deployed.
Shanun posted “Thank God for a beautiful day” on Twitter Saturday, and later tweeted the words “Mission Bay.”
Friends turned to the social media site to remember Shanun. “RIP to a bright young man who had a bright future,” one user said. Another posted, “…heaven jus got a 6’9” gentle giant.”