ADELAIDE – Indian student Nitisha Negi has been identified as the teenage girl who died after being swept out to sea at an Adelaide beach.
Nitisha, 15, was visiting Australia to compete in football in the Pacific School games when she and four other teammates decided to relax at Glenelg about 6pm last night.
The group soon got into trouble in the water, prompting a large-scale response from emergency services.
Three 17-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl were rescued and rushed to hospital. One of the 17-year-olds continues to fight for life.
Nitisha’s body was recovered by SA Police this morning near the breakwater. Her football team’s liaison officer paid tribute to the 15-year-old.
“All of the Indian community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Indian school player Nitisha Negi,” the liaison said in a statement to 9NEWS.
“(Our) thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”
The area of the beach where the girl died is well known for being a dangerous place to swim.
In 2007, a 17-year-old boy drowned there and on New Year’s Day in 2016 two 11-year-old boys drowned there after getting caught in a rip.
Since then signs reading “Beware of waves and currents” have been erected warnings visitors of potential dangers.
Government to pay for return of Nitisha Negi’s body to India
THE State Government will pay to repatriate the body of Nitisha Negi back to her family in India.
Sports Minister Leon Bignell on Monday described the death of the 15-year-old Pacific School Games participant as a “huge tragedy”.
“We’ve stepped in as a government with counselling services, which are already underway, and we’ll also pay the costs of getting this young girl back to India,” he said.
Mr Bignell said the Government had been in touch with the girl’s family and representatives from the Indian Consular General’s Office in Sydney had arrived in Adelaide to provide further support.
School Sport Australia President Graeme Jennings said: “All involved in the games send our condolences to the Indian team, family and friends of the deceased student.
“The thoughts of all in the Pacific School Games family are also with the four members of the team who are still in hospital.”
Pacific School Games Indian Liaison Officer Surender Chahal said the Indian community was “deeply saddened” by Nitisha’s death.
“The thoughts of the Indian players, staff and all Indians are with her family and friends at this sad time,” he said. “It’s very hard to believe.”