’My boy, my boy’: Mum’s heartbreaking tribute

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A teenager who tragically drowned at Freshwater Beach in Manly has been described by his mother as a “shy and humble” boy who was adored by his younger two siblings, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Ivan Korolev, 18, went missing on Saturday night when he and two mates went for a swim at about 8pm.
His friends searched frantically in the water and continued their search on shore unsuccessfully before calling emergency services when he could not be located.

Ivan Korolev.Ivan Korolev.

Tragically, the teenager’s body was found in water off Freshwater Beach at 9.15am on Sunday.

On a Sydney northern beaches Facebook account where news of the discovery of Ivan’s body was posted, his bereft mother Anna Zolotukhina commented: “my son, my son”.

Ms Zolotukhina said he was adored by his two younger siblings and had dreams of going to university, successfully enrolling in a sport and fitness course at the Australian Catholic University.

“He was one of the strongest and the nicest person I’ve ever known,” Ms Zolotukhina said.

“He just graduated Mosman High …. he was an avid parkour athlete.”

“Had a lot of friends and 2 of them were swimming with him that day.”
Ms Zolotukhina said her son was happiest when he was outdoors.

“He did exercise everyday. Was doing martial arts from the age of five,” she said.

The Australian summer had lead to a surge in drowning deaths.

One person has died from drowning across summer, the Royal Life Saving Summer Drowning Toll has revealed.

Last year flood-related drowning deaths caused a spike in deaths in February, but this year’s February death toll was even higher – with 31 deaths – despite there not being large-scale flooding in urban areas in 2023.

In total, 90 people lost their lives in Australian waterways and swimming pools between December 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023.

Tragically, 10 per cent of all drowning deaths this year were rescues gone wrong.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia Chief Executive Officer Justin Scarr said the trends this year were deeply concerning.

“Last year was the worst year on record for summer drowning and we had hoped there would be a significant drop given there was fewer intense flood events this year, but drowning numbers are still too high,” Mr Scarr said.

Rescue crews stayed monitoring the sand and water overnight. Picture: InstagramRescue crews stayed monitoring the sand and water overnight. Picture: Instagram

“It’s supposed to be the happiest time of year, but between Christmas Day and January 2, when people gathered together across Australia 22 people drowned. That’s 22 families, friends and communities whose summer became a period of mourning.

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“The heatwave in February also caused a spike in drowning, with 17 per cent of all drowning deaths over summer attributable to that six-day period.

“So many communities were affected by drowning this year, with significant increases in drowning in all states except for Queensland and Tasmania.”

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