Heartbroken mum reveals the eerie last words of teenage parkour athlete who drowned just metres away from his friends at popular beach
- Ivan Korolev drowned at Freshwater Beach in Sydney on Saturday
- The parkour athlete was swimming with two friends
- His mother has thanked search teams and the community
A fit and energetic young parkour athlete who drowned at a Sydney beach on the weekend just metres from his friends was incredibly happy and looking forward to university.
Ivan Korolev, 18, went for a swim with two friends at Freshwater Beach around 8pm on Saturday night but didn’t return to shore with his friends.
His mother Anna Zolotukhina has chosen to speak out to thank rescue crews who retrieved her son’s body following an overnight search that lasted into Sunday morning.
‘We had a deep and meaningful relationship and understanding so apart from being my son he was my close friend,’ Ms Zolotukhina told 9News.
‘I was told that he swam a short distance away from his friends. They were chatting and having fun and his last words were “I’m so relaxed right now that I’m ready to fall asleep”.’
Ivan Korolev’s mother Anna Zolotukhina (pictured together) said her son was also a close friend
She is heartbroken but says her son was ‘ready’ and that he had been very happy in recent weeks
The exact circumstances that caused the young man – who loved the outdoors including rock climbing, parkour, swimming and animals – to drown remains a mystery.
He trained in martial arts and was getting ready to study physiotherapy at Australian National University in a matter of weeks.
‘The sheer happiness he went through the last few weeks is just unbelievable,’ his heartbroken mother said.
‘We all live on this planet to fulfill our purpose in life some people need a hundred years to do so, some people need 18.
‘God works in unpredictable ways… he was ready.’
His two friends called police when they lost sight of him and he failed to return to shore around 8:15pm on Saturday.
Emergency services launched an extensive search and rescue operation, working continuously to try and find Ivan.
Local police, the Marine Area Command, Surf Life Saving NSW, Marine Rescue, Polair and the Toll Ambulance Rescue Helicopter scoured the area from North Curl Curl headland along the coastline to Bluefish Point and further out to sea to find Ivan.
Marine officers patrolled the water, while police scoured the beach on Saturday night.
The search operation continued in the morning when Ivan’s body was found in the water around 9:15am.
The body of Sydney teen Ivan Korolev (pictured), 18, was found in the water on Sunday. Friends and family have shared tributes to social media
Search crews worked throughout the night to locate the boy after his friend reported him missing
The family was close and have thanked the local community for rallying around them
The family are thankful to rescue teams who tirelessly worked throughout the night to locate him – just 500metres from shore.
They are also grateful to the local community they say has kept them going.
A memorial will be held at Freshwater beach on Saturday at 5pm.
‘If anyone wants to bring flowers he got for his birthday were blue irises,’ Ms Zolotukhina said.
A GoFundMe has also set up by a close friend to support the family.
Police say his death is not being treated as suspicious.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.