Malayali student dies in Canada surfing accident

A 24-year-old Karunagapally native pursuing doctorate at the University of Victoria died in a surfing accident near Tofino in Canada.

Published: 15th February 2018 01:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2018 03:14 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

By Express News Service

KOLLAM: A 24-year-old Karunagapally native pursuing doctorate at the University of Victoria died in a surfing accident near Tofino in Canada. The deceased is Nijin C John, son of C Johnykutty and Punam Mathews, of Chennala Dale at Kozhikode in Karunagapally. The mishap is learnt to have occurred at Long Beach on Saturday afternoon. “Attempts are on to repatriate the body. Due to public holiday there, we are yet to complete the paper work. We hope formalities will be completed in the next working day. The family has arranged a relative there to coordinate the formalities,” said P Suresh Kumar, ward councillor. He said MPs N K Premachandran and K C Venugopal were in constant touch with Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada.

Nijin C John

Nijin’s cousin Sham said the former had joined the University of Victoria last June for research in Surface Restructuring of Films.“Nijin was a brilliant student,” said Sham. “He also excelled in extracurricular activities, emerging champion in CBSE regional athletics meet and winning the Science India Forum Talent Award, among others. He was also a recipient of Bank Muscat Award, presented to him by former President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2009.” It is learnt Nijin’s friends in Canada have begun a fundraising campaign ‘to meet the funeral expenses’.

Nijin is survived by sister, Elsa John, a second-year MBBS student at Thirunelveli Medical College, mother Poonam Mathews, a teacher with Government AVHS in Thazhava, and father G Johnykutty who runs a swimming academy in Karunagappally.  Having completed his integrated MSc in Photonics from Cusat, Nijin carried out various projects at IIST Thiruvananthapuram, IIT Ropar, KIT Germany and at the University of Victoria.

“We received a message from a professor at the University expressing grief over Nijin’s death. He remembered Nijin had a deep knowledge of optics and spectroscopy and was a bright, hardworking and talented scientist,” said Sham.According to Canadian media reports, Nijin had a large gash under his left eye near his cheekbone, which he might have suffered after hitting on the surfboard or rocks. The accident spot is notorious for rip currents, the reports said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp