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Orphan Kenyan teenager in Australia feared drowned

Posted by Administrator on December 5, 2011

Missing..Samuel Macharia

Missing..Samuel Macharia

Samuel Macharia had never seen a beach before leaving the slums of Nairobi  for Australia to start a new life as an emerging soccer star.

Today the orphaned 16-year-old was feared drowned off the NSW far north coast  after failing to return from an afternoon run and swim at Cabarita beach the  previous day.

Samuel, a student at Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, was just three days  away from his year 10 graduation.

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He came to Australia in 2007 on a cultural exchange program after being  discovered playing soccer in the slums of Kenya’s capital.

His visa was extended at the end of his visit with the help of his temporary  foster parents Bernie and Sandra Zietlow.

“I had never seen a beach before I came here,” he told local newspaper the Tweed Shire Echo in August.

Police were contacted about 7.10pm yesterday after family members discovered  a backpack with Samuel’s clothes and mobile phone on the beach.

Volunteers joined police, the Coast Guard and Marine Rescue NSW in a search  of the beach, headland and ocean last night and early this morning.

The operation was called off shortly after 1pm because of bad weather.

Lindisfarne spokesman David Stonier said the school was in “deep shock” at  the news that Samuel had gone missing.

Mr Stonier described the popular teen as an elite soccer player who was  largely unaware of his talent, despite having trialled for the A-League’s Gold  Coast United.

“He was just a wonderful student and an absolute asset to the school,” he  said today.

Police were reassessing the situation this afternoon and would decide whether  to resume the search tomorrow.

Officers are urging anyone who has seen Samuel, described as 165 to 170  centimetres tall with black hair and brown eyes, to contact police or Crime  Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/orphan-teenager-from-kenya-feared-drowned-20111205-1oew5.html#ixzz1fiPsgxT7

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