Indian-Australians mourn loss of two women after ‘freak wave’ swept them into sea

The Sydney Malayalee Association confirmed the identities of the victims as 35-year-old Marwa Hashim and 38-year-old Nirsha Haris in a heartfelt Facebook post.

The Sydney’s Indian community is in mourning following the tragic deaths of two women who were swept out to sea by a large wave in the city’s south on Monday.

The Sydney Malayalee Association confirmed the identities of the victims as 35-year-old Marwa Hashim and 38-year-old Nirsha Haris, both Indian nationals, in a heartfelt Facebook post.

John Jacob, the organisation’s public officer, told the Guardian that the community were saddened by the news of their deaths.

“The whole community are sad about it, they were both very popular and well known. They were very active in the community, they both worked in catering and would provide traditional meals from the Kerala region at community events. Much of the community visited their family home today, its a tragedy. And it was so sudden too, its an unimaginable accident.”

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The incident occurred at Cape Solander in Kurnell, located in the Sutherland Shire, around 4:30 pm.

Emergency services were promptly called after reports emerged that three women had been washed off the rocks into the ocean.

Joe McNulty, New South Wales police superintendent, told media that the women had been picnicking in the Botany Bay national park.

“There is an extended rock platform that does protrude out into the ocean and, when a wave hits that, it stands up and has a significantly extra amount of force that would knock those people from their feet and drag them back into the water with the reclining wave going back into the ocean,”

One of the women managed to climb back onto the rocks and was assisted to safety by members of the public. However, a frantic search ensued for the other two women, with NSW Police and PolAir scouring the waters. Sadly, both were found unconscious and pulled from the ocean.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics and a Toll Helicopter doctor, the women could not be revived at the scene. Authorities have initiated an investigation into the incident, though no suspicious circumstances have been identified.

Marwa’s sister, Roshna Hashim was taken to hospital and was treated for hypothermia and a leg injury. She is in a stable condition.

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This heartbreaking event has left the Sydney’s Indian community in deep sorrow as they come to terms with the loss of two of their own.

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