2 Saudi Students Drown Trying To Rescue Children In the U.S.

Two college exchange students from Saudi Arabia drowned in Massachusetts after attempting to aide two small children who were struggling to stay afloat in the Chicopee River in Wilbraham.

The two men, Theeb Alyami, 27, and Jaser Daham Alrakah, 25, were swept away by the current after they noticed a mother in distress trying to save her children. The children survived and were discharged from an area hospital that evening.

Both of the students came from Saudi Arabia to study engineering at U.S. universities. Aylami attended the University of Hartford in Connecticut and Alrakah attended the Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. They were due to graduate next month.

The U.S. State Department expressed “heartfelt condolences” over the deaths, and said, “The young men drowned while courageously attempting to save children in distress. Their heroism represents the very best of the international students who enrich communities across the United States.”