Kenyan in Canada feared dead after Facebook livestream backfires in pool
A Kenyan woman living in Canada is believed to have drowned while swimming and broadcasting it live on Facebook.
Hellen Nyabuto, who goes by the Facebook name Hellen Wendy, dived into the pool for a while before returning to her phone, which was positioned by the poolside and capturing her swim, to acknowledge the greetings of friends who were typing their responses in a video that went live on Thursday at 9.21 pm Kenyan time.
During the live stream, she mostly spoke in Swahili.
It's two o'clock in the afternoon. "Nimetoka job, niko poa (just left work, I'm fine); I'm just having fun," she says in the second minute of the video.
A typical live Facebook live video allows you to broadcast whatever you're doing while also allowing friends to typewritten comments.
Hellen, who has done similar streams before, is reading the comments in between taking plunges into the pool in the video. She keeps saying she's having a good time.
Her final appearance is at minute 9:59, after which she disappears into the far end of the pool, never to be seen again. She is seen battling the water while screaming at minute 10:36.
By minute 12.16, the struggle has intensified, and by minute 14:08, everything has fallen silent. For well over two hours, silence dominates the live stream.
Her phone continues to record the lifelessness of the pool and its wavy waters.
"Is that real?" asks one man at the pool, who is using the same swimming pool rails Hellen was using as a phone station. The man is shirtless and clearly unaware that he is being streamed live.
Hellen's Facebook profile indicates that she lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Saturday Nation contacted Toronto police about the incident, and Cindy Chung, the Toronto Police Service's media relations officer, said they had not received such a report.
"I have no reports for the woman named on the Facebook account," Ms Chung wrote in an email.
"I am unable to confirm that this individual lives in Toronto or any other details of the post."
A call to the Kenyan High Commission in Canada went unanswered, and an email to them was not promptly responded to.
Many of Hellen's Facebook friends expressed their condolences and expressed surprise at the unexpected turn of events.
"I don't think I saw you die live," one user says.
Hellen, who is from Kisii County, sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2017 and then moved to Canada a few months later, according to her public profile. A former classmate described her as friendly and outgoing.
Some men arrive on the scene only in the final stages of the live stream, which lasts three hours and fourteen minutes. They can be heard discussing a body on the pool floor.
They are unsure whether it is a human being based on their conversation because one believes that if it was a person who drowned, the body would have floated.