The family of a teenager who slipped off rocks at a notorious fishing spot in Albany have spoken out about their tragic ordeal.
Mohammad Mirzaie, 18, was fishing with a group of about 16 people including his brother, Latif, step-father Zahir and close friend Yonus Gulzari at the popular Frenchman’s Bay about 8am on Saturday.
Mr Gulzari was standing next to Mohammad, who was holidaying from Perth with his family, when the man lost his footing on the slippery rocks.
“I heard the noise. He just slipped down through the rocks. I ran to him and he was already in the water,” he said.
Mr Gulzari said the undertow started to push Mohammad under the water and out to sea.
“He was trying to come back,” he said.
Mr Gulzari said many attempts were made to throw Mohammad a buoy, but they were futile as he was unable to grab hold of the floatation device.
Mohammad’s brother Latif said he had tried hard to catch the buoys in the rough conditions.
“He kept shouting ‘help me, help me’, but we couldn’t help him,” Latif said.
Although he wanted to jump into the water to help his brother, Latif said he was not confident about swimming in the choppy seas.
“The water conditions were very bad, it was windy and it was very dangerous,” he said.
Latif said his brother was a strong swimmer, but after about 20 minutes struggling in the water, Mr Gulzari simply said “he was tired.”
Police divers found a body, believed to be that of Mohammad, near Salmon Holes on Sunday.
Mr Gulzari said most, if not the “whole Hazara community”, came to Albany to pay their respects to the family.
Mohammad was a keen soccer player and had aspirations to be a pilot “flying from here to Dubai”, already completing at least one solo flight in a small plane, according to his brother.
Mohammad’s step-father Zahir thanked the Albany police for their hard work.
Arrangements are still being made for a funeral service.