Tragic drownings of Nepalese youths: one in Lake Canobolas, two in Sydney’s north

4 JANUARY 2020 I By RAM KHATRY  I Nepalese diaspora is having to deal with tragic losses as Australian waters claim three more young lives by the 3rd day of New Year 2020.

A 27-year-old Nepalese man drowned in Lake Canobolas, near Orange, on 2 January. Member of Orange-based Nepalese community, Birendradeep Malla, confirmed that the deceased was a Nepalese national who was visiting the lake with two mates.

“Family refused when we offered to raise funds for the repatriation of his remains,” Mr Malla told The Nepalese diaspora in Australia often raises funds to help bereaved families with repatriation of remains and other expenses when tragedies of this nature hit the tight-knit community.

Mr Malla requested privacy by not mentioning name of the drowning victim as heartbroken family members back in Nepal wanted to avoid media attention.

NSW Police said emergency services were called to Lake Canobolas Thursday afternoon after the 27-year-old went missing while swimming.

Following an extensive search by officers from Central West Police District, NSW Ambulance paramedics and the SES, the body of the drowning victim was located in the water yesterday evening.

In a separate incident, another two members of the Australian Nepalese community lost their lives yesterday evening in the north of Sydney. The pair had gone missing after they entered a river at the Berowra National Park.

A third man, also a Nepalese national, is in hospital after being treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics at the scene. He was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition, NSW Police said in a statement.

Mahesh Raj passing of the three young souls has both frustrated and saddened the Nepalese ambassador to Australia, Mahesh Raj Dahal.

Speaking to over telephone, Mr Dahal said the recent tragedies occurred despite renewed efforts by his office to spread water safety awareness among his compatriots living and studying in Australia.

“Only recently, we supported and participated in a programme with a view to build water safety awareness among students,” the Nepalese envoy said, “We must all work together to get the message across that they must not enter water if they are not aware of the inherent risks (of Australian waters).”

He said the tendency to jump in the moment they see water, even when they are under the influence of alcohol, is harming young lives. This must stop, he urged.

This news article was edited at 2:30 pm, 6 January 2020

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