A Russian scientist and mother of two was found drowned at Three Fathoms Cove near Sai Sha Road yesterday. Her dog kept guard beside her floating body. Irina Smolina was only 36.
Irina leaves two daughters from her first marriage, and her husband, Joseph Pereira. Facebook has been inundated with shocked, loving comments. Joseph wrote: “I am writing this with deep sadness and a broken heart… for my love, my Irisha, went to heaven today.”
Later he described what had happened before Irina went for the fateful swim at about 11:30 am near Nga Yiu Tau Tsuen: “Irina and I had a loving breakfast this morning. We talked and hugged and kissed as we always do. At mid-morning she said she was going for a swim with her dog, Max. She asked if I wanted to go, but I said I didn’t feel like swimming. When she didn’t return, I went looking for her and found her floating with her dog next to her. You have no idea how I wish I could roll back time and had gone swimming with Irina.”
Irina was pulled from the water at about 1:30 pm yesterday by Fire Services officers and taken to Prince of Wales Hospital were she was declared dead.
Dr Irina Smolina was head of environmental sciences at Accendos Group. She earned a PhD at the Russian Academy of Science where she became a research fellow. She also lectured at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Chongqing University. She mothered the two girls, Sveta and Yulia. Joseph works for Zurich Financial Services.
Some comments on Facebook:
Elena Spirkina: “She was a truly wonderful person.”
Helen Louise N: “Such a beautiful intelligent soul we have lost.”
Jasmin Johnson: “She is a beautiful happy loving soul. A dancer to the beat of her own drum. Sleep well, beautiful Irina.”
Updated: Message from Emily and Nina Pereira.
Help Us Be With Our Grieving FatherAs many of you may or may not know, we have just experienced a tragedy in our family. Our dad is suffering from the sudden loss of his partner of 4 years. She was a victim of a drowning accident that occurred yesterday morning.
My sister, Nina, and I would like to be with and comfort our dad in his time of grief. He has requested that we be there for her funeral and we would very much so like to honour her memory and their love in this way.
Last minute international travel is definitely not cheap and will be very straining on our already small budgets. Nina and I will be travelling back to Hong Kong in a few weeks to be with our dad and support him in any way we can. If you are able and willing, we would be eternally grateful for your contribution in making our trip home possible.
The amount that we have set for our goal, will help defray our travel costs. Any amount at all is immensely appreciated and and being with our father during this difficult time would mean the absolute world to our family.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact either of us directly. Thank you so much in advance, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping us make this possible.