Man drowns as onlookers laugh and jeer

WARNING: Disturbing images.

AN AFRICAN migrant has drowned in a canal in Venice as onlookers filmed him on their mobile phones and reportedly laughed and made racist comments.

Disturbing footage posted on Italian news websites shows the man struggling to stay afloat in the Grand Canal.

In trouble: The man struggles in the water as tourists watch from a boat.
In trouble: The man struggles in the water as tourists watch from a boat. YouReporter.it.

At least three lifebuoys were thrown into the water near the man but he did not appear to reach for them raising speculation he wanted to take his life.

No one jumped in to help the man, named as 22-year-old Gambian Pateh Sabally.

A lifeline. A lifebuoy is seen in the water near the man but he does not appear to reach for it.
A lifeline. A lifebuoy is seen in the water near the man but he does not appear to reach for it. Courtesy: YouReporter.it.

Bystanders can reportedly be heard shouting at the man, with one yelling: "Go on, go back home".

Another onlooker apparently shouted: "He is stupid. He wants to die".

Going under. Tourists watch on from a boat as the man drowns.
Going under. Tourists watch on from a boat as the man drowns. Courtesy: YouReporter.it.

Authorities are now investigating the incident which police say happened on Sunday.

Italian media said Sabally had arrived by boat two years ago and had residency papers for Italy.

If you or someone you love is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Young people aged 5 to 25 years can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800

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