SIDON, Lebanon: Civil Defense teams, along with a number of volunteer divers, are searching for a 15-year-old Syrian who drowned in the waters off the Sidon coast Monday.
Rami Kharbo was swimming with his father, Mustafa, in the sea at a beach resort when Mustafa, who has an amputated arm, started drowning.
The teen began calling for help before he drowned as well.
Officials at the resort said they had not opened their doors for the summer season yet.
Civil Defense teams were able to rescue the father but are still searching for Kharbo.
“I was swimming with Rami, but a strong wave hit me and I drowned,” the distressed father told The Daily Star.
Sobbing and unable to catch his breath, Kharbo said that he was not aware his son had drowned.
“All I remember after the wave hit is that I woke in a hospital without Rami so I rushed back to the resort to see divers searching for him,” he said.
“I am the reason he drowned!” the father repeatedly shouted.
Rami and his father are from the Syrian town of Aleppo and had recently sought refuge in the coastal city of Sidon.
One of the divers with the Civil Defense team said the search operation had been difficult and unsuccessful so far.
“I dived at least 9 meters deep, but it’s hard to see anything and the waves today are very strong,” Hasan Masri, dressed in his swimming gear, said.