A 23-year-old Kiwi-Indian man has died in a drowning incident at Bethell’s Beach on Tuesday, November 16.

Earlier, New Zealand Police reported a drowning incident around late afternoon on Tuesday where the person could not be saved despite frantic rescue efforts by local surf lifesavers and the police Eagle helicopter.

The Indian Weekender has learned that the person was of Indian origin and has chosen not to reveal his identity just now as authorities are working to inform his parents back in India.

The person hailed from the Navsari district of the western Indian state of Gujarat and had arrived in New Zealand only recently and was currently on an open job search visa and working full-time with a security company.

“A person has died following an incident at Bethells Beach this afternoon,” the NZ police press release said on Tuesday.

“Shortly before 3.40 pm, Police were notified that a person was in trouble in the sea.”

“Eagle helicopter and local Surf Lifesavers were dispatched, and a person was located in the water.”

“They were brought back to the shore where CPR has commenced, but sadly the person has died,” the press release said.

The Indian Weekender has also learned that close friends and family members are working to repatriate him back to India at the earliest.

A Givealittle page has been set up to raise funds to assist in the repatriation process and also to send to the family of the deceased.

Meanwhile, Hon Consul of India Bhav Dhillon has confirmed that the High Commission is working closely with the next of kin here and the family back in India.

Speaking to the Indian Weekender Mr Dhillon said, “Yes both our offices in Auckland and Wellington are aware of this unfortunate incident and are working closely with the next of kin here and the family back in India.

“We are waiting for all paperwork and necessary documents from New Zealand authorities and we are working as fast as we can to send him back to his family at the earliest,” Mr Dhillon said.

Appeals to Kiwi Indians to be safe around water

Mr. Dhillon also took the opportunity to appeal to all Kiwi-Indians to remain extra careful this summer around water on New Zealand beaches.

“I would like to remind all our diaspora members, particularly the youngsters who do not have much exposure in water to not get carried away at the pristine New Zealand beaches.”

“Please be extra careful during the upcoming summer season,” Mr. Dhillon said.

More details to come..