The horrifying footage was posted on an Italian news website and shows the man fighting to stay afloat in the Grand Canal as he is abused from behind the camera.
In the video, some bystanders can be heard yelling at the man who was identified as 22-year-old Gambian Pateh Sabally.
One person can be heard shouting: “Go on. Go home.”
Another unseen onlooker is heard shouting “Africa”, while a third says: “He is stupid. He wants to die.”
Sickening footage emerged of onlookers abusing a drowning migrant in Venice
Two or three life jackers were thrown from the boat but he refused help
Local taxi driver
As the man is flailing in the water, a passenger boat passes nearby, with at least three life rings thrown into the water as they attempt to help the Gambian.
However, the 22-year-old appeared not to reach for them and one man can allegedly be heard saying: “Let him die at this point.”
No-one jumped into assist the migrant while the camera was filming the shocking incident.
He allegedly shunned the help of passersby
He was eventually caught by a current and pulled under for the last time before rescuers could arrive on the scene.
Hundreds are said to have witnessed the Gambian’s death and later saw his dead body being dragged out of the water wrapped in a blue bag and tied to a ladder.
Dino Basso, local head of the Italian association of lifeguards, said: “I don’t want to blame anyone but maybe something more could have been done to save him.”
A taxi driver told local media: “A young man threw himself into the water and two or three life jackers were thrown from the boat but he refused help.”
Another local added: “This is despair. I do not know the story of this guy. They have said he is African. Who knows what he’s been through, how many seas and deserts he has crossed? And he came to die in the most beautiful city in the world.”
Mr Sabally had sailed from Africa to Europe two years ago and ended up in the Italian port of Pozzallo after his boat was intercepted at sea, according to local media reports.
It was claimed he was given a permit to stay in Italy but travelled to Switzerland in search of work, in order to be closer to family in Mexico. However, he was sent back to Italy by immigration officials.
Security cameras at Venice station show the refugee sitting on the steps overlooking the Grand Canal 10 minutes before he was spotting drowning in it.
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Social media users were angered by the lack of help and the abuse levelled at Mr Sabally as he drowned in the Venice canal.
One man tweeted: “A boy from Gambia died in a big canal in Venice, nobody gave him a hand to help him.
“They shouted at him, ‘back home’, this is the real face of Europe.”
More than 181,000 migrants arrived in Italy by boat in 2016, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, an increase of almost 18 per cent compared with 2015.