Two Ahmedabad Men Drown Off At New Zealand’s Piha Beach

| Updated: January 25, 2023 12:17 pm

In a drowning incident on Piha Beach in New Zealand, two Indians died. Saurin Nayankumar Patel and Anshul Shah, the victims, were both non-swimmers and natives of Gujarat.

Both fatalities, who were from Ahmedabad, travelled to Piha Beach on Saturday, one of the riskiest places to visit, where they died. Their relatives said that they were incapable of swimming. Durga Dass, the Second Secretary of the Indian High Commission, verified the deaths of the two Indian men.

Shah, 31, worked as a gas station cashier and came to New Zealand in November, while Patel, 28, was an electrical engineer who arrived in August. They shared a room in Auckland and each had a work visa. Shah was married, and Dass claimed that his wife was in Piha at the time of the occurrence.

The Second Secretary said, “It is a massive tragedy for the Indian community, the loss of these two men, and our thoughts go out to their families.” The two victims’ relatives were in contact with the Indian High Commission in Wellington.

The two had barely spent 30 minutes at the beach before disaster struck, and United North Piha Surf Lifesaving Club president Robert Ferguson is praising the efforts of lifeguards, first responders, and spectators who did everything they could to save their lives.

He claimed that as the volunteer patrol of the lifesaving club was winding down for the day, a lifeguard in the tower noticed two people in the water about 200 metres from Lion Rock, close to the river mouth. “Halfway down he could see that it had gone from a preventative action to a rescue,” Ferguson said after issuing a rescue call a boat was launched.

He claimed that the two were referred to as “non-swimmers” by family members at the beach. And according to local media, he thought that the area of the beach where the two decided to swim was one of the most dangerous. According to Ferguson, the family came up to them and inquired about the location of the second person.

“The rescue boat started the search and then quite quickly found the first victim face down in the water, so they pulled him in the boat. They drove it back to the beach for assistance and started resuscitation,” he added.

The second victim was spotted from the air by a police helicopter, he said, “The police helicopter landed very quickly right next to us and the crew jumped out and ran fully-kitted with helmet, boots, into the water’s edge and just over knee-depth water grabbed hold of the second patient.”

Resuscitation attempts were made, but it was already too late. The close-knit beach community immediately offered support in the hours following the tragedy, expressing their gratitude with floral tributes.

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