According to The New Zealand Herald, two Indians drowned and died on Piha Beach in New Zealand.
Saurin Nayankumar Patel and Anshul Shah, the victims, were both non-swimmers from Gujarat.
Both fatalities, who were from Ahmedabad, travelled to Piha Beach on Saturday, one of the riskiest places to visit, where they perished. 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 soldiers. 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. According to Dass, Shah was married and his wife was present in Piha at the time of the event, according to The New Zealand Herald.
The death of these two guys is a great sorrow for the Indian community, and our hearts go out to their families, the Second Secretary added.
The two victims' relatives were in contact with the Indian High Commission in Wellington.
The two had barely spent 30 minutes at the beach when disaster struck, and United North Piha Surf Lifesaving Club president Robert Ferguson is applauding the efforts of lifeguards, first responders, and spectators who did all they could to save their lives.
He said that while the volunteer patrol of the lifesaving club was winding down for the day, a lifeguard in the tower saw two persons in the water around 200 metres from Lion Rock, close to the river mouth.
Two lifeguards were sent to warn the two swimmers that they were in a hazardous area and to use caution as the guards were leaving the area for the day after the patrol captain ordered preventive action.
Ferguson added that halfway down, he could tell that the situation had changed from a preventive measure to a rescue after making a rescue call.
He said, "By the time the lifeguards arrived at the area where the swimmers had entered, put on their fins and tubes, and swam out, they were gone.
He said that the two were referred to as "non-swimmers" by family members at the beach. And according to The New Zealand Herald, he thought that the area of the beach where the duo decided to swim was one of the most hazardous.
They picked a level area on the beach, and it is flat because it is deep. When they entered, it could have been up to their waists, and two more steps would have put them over their heads. That's what we believe occurred, Ferguson said.
After beginning its search, the rescue crew swiftly discovered the first casualty face down in the water and hauled him aboard. They began resuscitation and drove it back to the shore for help, he said.
The New Zealand Herald quoted Ferguson as saying that the family had come up to them and inquired about the location of the second individual.
He stated, "The police helicopter landed very fast right next to us and the crew leapt out and went fully-equipped with helmet, boots, into the water's edge and just over knee-depth water took hold of the second patient." The police aircraft had noticed the second victim from the air.
The New Zealand Herald said that resuscitation attempts were made on that individual, but it was already too late.
The close-knit beach community immediately offered assistance in the hours after the tragedy, expressing their thanks with flower tributes.