Drowned boy’s dream was to go fishing with dad
A father whose five-year-old son drowned at sea in a boating tragedy over the weekend is ruing his decision to take his little boy fishing for the first time.
Friends of the heartbroken family say it was little Mohamed Ali Laalaa's dream to go fishing with his dad Ali. The father and son were out on a boat with two other adults on Saturday off Bulli, near Wollongong when the vessel capsized.
Mohamed and family friend Saadallah El Kourouche, 28, drowned while Mr Laalaa, 31, and another friend, 23, survived and were winched to safety.
"They are not from Wollongong, they are from Western Sydney, they did not know how to read the sea. Two of the men had never been fishing before," a family friend said.
Mr Laalaa is said to be "deeply traumatised" and regrets his decision to go on the fishing trip. He is at home recovering after being treated at hospital for shock.
Mohamed was seen frantically clinging to the hull of the capsized vessel screaming for help as giant waves smashed the 5m vessel.
Crews from Surf Life Saving Illawarra launched a desperate search for Mohamed and Mr El Kourouche. Sadly, both their bodies were found by police divers on Sunday.
Mr El Kourouche's sister Hala said he was a keen fisherman.
"My brother was the loveliest, sweetest man you could imagine - if you needed help he would drop what he was doing and help," she said.
"That's how he died, trying to save the little boy who fell in and could not swim.
"The boat hit something, my brother jumped in after him but lost him in the dark.
Life jackets and the navigation skills of those on board will form part of the police investigation.
Originally published as Drowned boy's dream was to go fishing with dad