A 24-year-old Indian student of Louisiana State University, who was on a rafting adventure with his friends, drowned after his boat flipped in the Mississippi river.
Gotham Joseph Smiles, a Masters student of engineering at the LSU, who was rafting without a life jacket, died after
the accident on Saturday, the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) said in a statement.
The accident is reported to have happened around 8 pm local time. Joseph, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, went to
Mississippi along with eight other friends to experience a Canoe trip and drowned in water when their boat flipped.
"Joseph was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident; life guards jumped in to the water to save him
but it was already too late," TANA said in a statement.
A native of Visakhapatnam, Joseph came to the US in January 2009 after earning a B Tech from MVGR Engineering College, Vijayanagaram.
He joined LSU to pursue Masters in Engineering and he was in the last semester of his course. Joseph is survived by his father Samuel Smiles, who is at the Bharat Heavey Plates and Vessels Ltd (BHPV), and mother Hemalatha, a Professor at Andhra University. He also has a younger sister.
The Telugu body said Joseph's father has sought help in sending the remains of his son as soon as possible. Daggubati Purandeswari, Minister of State for Human Resource Development (Higher Education), called Prasad Thotakura of TANA to enquire about the accident and offered any help in contacting US authorities or the Ministry of External Affairs in expediting the case.
The organisation, which is working to send Joseph's body back to his family, expects his remains to reach Visakhapatnam by September 8.