The truth: I was there when Jake died in Malaysia

He drowned in a snorkeling accident off the coast of Malaysia

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Jake Andrews died last week in a snorkeling accident in Malaysia. But here his friend Tom Murray – who saw Jake die – tells us what really happened. 

Local police say the 20-year-old was snorkelling with pals but got into trouble shortly after he removed his life jacket last Monday 25th May.

But friends are upset that reports have not only incorrectly said Jake was 21, but they claim the University of Nottingham student took off his life jacket. When in reality none of the group wore them.

When the second year, who lived in Hugh Stewart hall, failed to emerge from the water, his friends found him on the seabed. With the help of other divers, he was pulled onto the boat by friends and rushed to shore but was tragically confirmed dead after arriving at a clinic on the island.


Here, Tom Murray reveals the truth about Jake’s death

I met Jake Andrews whilst on semester abroad in Ningbo, China. It was following the end of this semester that a small group of us embarked on a trip to the Perhentian Islands off Malaysia that would end in inconceivable tragedy.

Most upsetting of all is that there has been a number of inaccuracies in the press that have made this incredibly difficult time even harder.

What follows is the true account of what happened that awful day.

The snorkelling tour boat took us to the Shark Point, what would turn out to be our first and last stop of the trip.

We were swimming for around 15 minutes and were returning to the boat when a few of us noticed that Jake had been submerged for too long. He was lying at the bottom of the sea bed.


Tom and Jake on their year abroad

With the help of some of the other snorkelers we hauled him up from the bottom and we swam him to the boat where he was pulled aboard.

Despite attempts to resuscitate him, Jake was lost on that boat and pronounced dead on the mainland.

Jake’s death was a tragic accident in every sense, most importantly one that he cannot be blamed for.

Jake did not remove his life jacket as has been reported thus far, he was never given one and therefore did not have one to remove in the first place.

We also did not see Jake struggle. Whilst it is difficult to speculate this leads us to the sanguine assumption that Jake’s death was fast and painless.

The greatest commendation in life is to be remembered in death, Jake will certainly be remembered – an article collating his tributes will be released shortly.

It was a pleasure to spend the last semester with Jake and an honour to spend his last day with him.


A spokesperson for The University of Nottingham added: “The University has been made aware of the sad death of one of its students.

“We have been liaising with the appropriate agencies to ensure that the family of the deceased receive support at this extremely difficult time.

“We are also offering support to their fellow students both in Malaysia and here in the UK, and would like to offer our condolences to everyone affected by this terrible loss.”