Melbourne: Two Indian students, both in their 20s, have died in New Zealand in a tragic swimming accident at a popular camping site, a media report said today. The students, who belonged to a group of four students from India, were reported missing yesterday after a swimming accident at a lake near McLaren Falls Park in the Western Bay of Plenty District.
While the first body was recovered last night, the second body was found early today by rescue divers, police said without revealing their identities.
“Police are in contact with families, but it is not appropriate to provide further details at this time,” a police spokeswoman was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald . The two men were seen going into the water on Monday. One fell from a rope swing into the water and the other then went in to help him, the report said.
“One of the students swung on a rope that was suspended from a branch of a tree out over the lake. Unfortunately, the rope broke and he ended up in the water and it is believed that he was unable to swim,” a police officer said.
“One of the other parties who had some swimming capability then entered the water to effect a rescue but unfortunately he also succumbed to the water and he was also found dead,” the officer added.
McLaren Falls Park, a 10-minute drive from Tauranga city, is a pastoral and horticultural parkland set alongside Lake McLaren. It is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, and bush walks. Following the tragic accident, Bay of Plenty Sikh Society secretary Lehmber Singh has asked Indians to steer clear of the water if they have not learnt swimming.
“A lot of Indian people can’t swim. I try and remind them not to go in the water because they’re not usually very good at swimming. There’s no lessons at school in India. There’s been a lot of Indians drown in Auckland, too. They’ve never been taught,” Singh said.