Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Tributes paid to Dubai student who died in kayaking accident

Indian Linto Philip, 23, was paddling with friends in Dallas, Texas when his kayak capsized in difficult conditions

Tributes are being paid to an Indian student from Dubai who lost his life in a kayaking accident in America.

Linto Philip, 23, was on the water with friends at Lake Ray Hubbard, Dallas, Texas on Saturday when he ran into difficulties and his kayak capsized.

His body was later recovered from the water by Dallas Fire and Rescue emergency services. No one else was reported to have been injured.

The football-loving student was less than two months into a masters degree in supply chain management at the University of Texas when the accident happened.

A regular at the Jebal Mar Thoma Indian Church in Dubai, his friends and fellow worshipers described Linto as a fun-loving young man, who carried a ready smile and a zest for life.

“It is emotional talking about Linto, he was such a positive guy,” said Jonathan Boby-John, 18, a pupil at Our Own High School for Boys in Al Warqa.

Jonathan met Linto in 2010 at his prayer group, when he was in the 10th grade at Emirates National School in Sharjah.

The boys shared similar interests and Jonathan said his football-loving friend was an inspiration.

“Linto was very sociable, and everyone loved him,” he said.

“He always had a very positive outlook on life and this was inspiring for me. I never saw him unhappy or sad.

“There was always a smile on his face whenever we met up.”

At 92 square kilometres, Lake Ray Hubbard, the man-made reservoir where Linto was found, is one of the largest in Texas and a popular venue for fishing and watersports.

It was Linto's dream to study in the US

Jonathan Boby-John

Jonathan was told of his friend’s death via a What’sApp group for friends from his church.

A memorial service has been held in Dallas, and a funeral is understood to be planned in his home village of Pennukkar in Chengannur, Kerala this weekend.

His parents, Dubai residents Susan and PM Philip have returned to India for the funeral ceremony.

“It was Linto’s dream to study in the US,” said Jonathan.

“The last time I saw him was in December, when we met up in Dubai.

“He said he was going to school in the US and we were all very happy for him.

“I expected he would come back to visit, so thought I would be seeing him soon.”

Linto had attended the Mar Thoma church since a young boy with his parents.

Worshippers there were shocked when they received the news on Sunday.

“Linto was brought up here since childhood, and was a very good student in our Sunday school,” said Varughese Thomas, a church parish secretary, who knew Linto since he was a young boy.

“All these years he was a regular in our church.

“He had a good lifestyle and worked hard in school. He was an ideal young man.

“Linto had an excellent personality, he will be greatly missed.”

The church is holding a worship service and special prayer for Linto on Friday and Saturday.

Updated: February 28, 2019 08:09 PM

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