Bannau Brycheiniog: Man died at waterfalls helping family to safety

The family of a man who died at a waterfall in Bannau Brycheiniog, also known as the Brecon Beacons, on Friday said he was helping his family to safety when he died.

The body of Mohananeethan Muruganantharajah was discovered at Sgwd y Pannwr Waterfalls on Saturday by emergency services.

The 27-year-old had been visiting the area with relatives on their holiday.

His niece is now calling for clearer signage.

Mohananeethan Muruganantharajah, known as Mohan, ran an off-licence in Swansea and was at the waterfall with relatives on Friday.

His niece Vaishnavi Senthurkumaran said he “escorted everyone down to the water one by one” so they could have a swim, adding there were “at least five other people already in the water”.

“One of my sisters didn’t feel safe in the water and everyone came over to help her.

“At that moment the current was pulling us in towards the waterfall. My uncle came in to pull us out one by one.”

After getting everyone out of the water Vaishnavi said Mohan got stuck.

“I could see his hands slipping into the water. We thought he was doing some sort of trick like he does in the sea, going underwater and grabbing our legs,” Vaishnavi said.

When the 27-year-old didn’t resurface, Vaishnavi said she ran up the slope to get phone signal and call for help while her mother tried to save Mohan.

“My mother can’t swim so she was throwing anything she could find into the water”.

“There were a few doctors in the area who tried to help where they could, then the paramedics turned up.

People were trying to get us back to our cars but it felt wrong to leave because my uncle, although he’s the youngest brother, is always there for people.

Mohan moved over from Sri Lanka as a child, leaving his mother behind there. His family said his dream was to “buy his own plane and fly us all around” and return to live with his mother in Sri Lanka when they could.

“My mum relied on him as did our other relatives” said Vaishnavi who explains “He was young but we all went to him for advice.

“He was more of a brother figure to everyone.”

Mohananeethan Muruganantharajah, 27, was discovered at Sgwd y Pannwr waterfall

The body of Mohananeethan Muruganantharajah was discovered at the Sgwd y Pannwr waterfall

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that officers, fire crews, mountain rescue teams, a rescue helicopter and an air ambulance were called to the scene at 16:45BST on Friday.

They said conditions meant the 27-year-old’s body could not be recovered until Saturday morning, when specialist divers were brought in to help.

In a statement, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team said “We extend our deepest sympathies to members of the family, some of whom witnessed the tragedy as it unfolded and those who joined us on the Saturday morning.”

“We also appreciate the understanding of those members of the public and outdoor activities groups who respected the requests to avoid the immediate area while rescue activities were ongoing.”

Mohan’s family said they now want to see better signage put up in the area.

“There was a sign but they were for general reminders of possible dangers. I want a sign to be there to remind people that people have died, that you’re risking your life by going in the water.”

Vaishnavi said she was shocked that “on the same day his body was retrieved they opened up the site. When his friends were putting down flowers for him there were people swimming in that same water.”

She said: “I know it’s a tourist attraction but it’s not worth putting lives on the line like that.”

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