12 Oct 2015

NZer who saved boy a hero - police

3:47 pm on 12 October 2015

The death of a Lower Hutt woman who drowned trying to save a young boy's life has shaken the small New South Wales community at Fingal, Australian police say.

Agnes "Aggie" Auelua

Agnes Auelua Photo: Facebook

Agnes Auelua was with a group of children at Fingal Head when they were struck by a wave which swept one of the boys out to sea.

The 26-year-old dived into the water but also got into difficulty after several minutes' trying to rescue the boy.

The nine-year-old boy was eventually pulled to safety but Ms Auelua died in hospital.

Tweed Heads Police Inspector Mick Demsey said what she did was heroic.

"She didn't have much of a swimming ability, and that just adds to her heroism," he said.

"She still jumped in the surging water to assist a nine-year-old child.

"It's extremely tragic, and it's a small community down at Fingal and they know most of the people that were involved."