A 15-year-old schoolgirl from New Delhi who was in Australia, as part of a 120-member Indian contingent participating in the Pacific School Games, drowned in the sea at the Holdfast Marina area in Adelaide on Sunday, NDTV reported.
School Games Federation of India President Rajesh Mishra told PTI that the football coach took players from the team, including the deceased Nitisha Negi, to the beach in Glenelg after the Games concluded on Sunday evening. “Of them, five girls had gone down into the water and were taking selfies,” Mishra said. “They must not have seen a huge wave coming from behind, they fell down and all the five were swept away.”
Officials from the South Australia Police found Negi’s body on Monday morning, Australia’s Nine News reported. Earlier, emergency services had rescued three 17-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl from the water. One of the 17-year-old girls in a critical condition at a local medical facility.
“We got to know about the mishap last evening and contacted other parents,” Negi’s father told NDTV. “I spoke to her the day before yesterday [Saturday]. At the time, the tournament was over and she was in a happy mood.”
In 2016, two 11-year-old boys, Frank Ndikuriyo and Thierry Niyomwungere, drowned in the sea at Holdfast Marina, prompting authorities to erect warning signs, ABC News reported. South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said the warning system needed improvements.
“It seems that especially people who come into our state from other places, or new arrivals, don’t seem to understand the threat posed by our coastline,” he told ABC News. “The warning signs are there for a reason [but] we are going to have to do more, we are reflecting on that today.”
The South Australia government is offering counselling to those affected by Negi’s death, and will also cover the cost of transporting her body back to India.