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Off-duty Australian LEO drowns trying to save student

Witness reports indicate Senior Constable Kelly Foster was sucked into a whirlpool while trying to help a younger woman

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Senior Constable Kelly Foster died January 2, 2020 while trying to rescue another woman from a whirlpool.

New South Wales Police Force

By Suzie Ziegler

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia — An Australian police officer died Saturday after she was sucked into a whirlpool during a guided canyoning tour.

New South Wales Police identified the officer as 39-year-old Senior Constable Kelly Foster.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Foster had been trying to rescue a 24-year-old international student. Both women’s bodies were recovered Sunday.

NSW Police Acting Commissioner Mal Lanyon offered his condolences.

“It’s a very sad time for the NSW Police Force and Kelly’s death is a loss to the whole community,” he said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Kelly was a highly regarded and dedicated officer who will be sorely missed by colleagues across the force.”

Witness reports say the younger woman fell off an inflatable raft and was swept into a whirlpool, according to the Herald. Foster tried to help the other woman and was dragged under as well, police said. No one else on the guided tour was injured.

“To hear reports that Kelly was trying to help another woman when she died demonstrates her commitment to the community she served and the ability to put the needs of others before her own,” Lanyon said.

Kelly joined the force in 2010 and became a constable in 2012, police said.