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distraught family launch fundraiser for shristi bhandari after maroubra drowning

distraught family launch fundraiser for shristi bhandari after maroubra drowning News Article With The full text news and with Resource Link at the bottom of the text and you can View this News Article in the source page.



distraught family launch fundraiser for shristi bhandari after maroubra drowning

the family of a young woman who drowned at a sydney beach this week have organised a fundraiser to take her body back to nepal, as her friend remains missing.

shristi bhandari, 23, was found on the northern end of maroubra beach by a jogger at 6am on tuesday morning.

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two feared drowned at maroubra

a 23-year-old international student has died and another is still missing as police continue to search. vision: seven news

she had arrived in sydney just two weeks earlier to study a masters of accounting as an international student.

friends said ms bhandari went to the beach with her friend sudeep uprety, 26, who is also from nepal, on monday night.

mr uprety has not been seen since, and is feared to have drowned. police are investigating how the pair got into trouble in the water, including the possibility they were swept off rocks by a large wave.

a large-scale search involving boats, divers and helicopters was launched on tuesday morning. it was suspended at 4pm on wednesday afternoon and is expected to resume on thursday morning.

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ms bhandari's second cousin, pratistha kc, told fairfax media the family were devastated by the student's sudden death. her parents were unable to come to australia because of how much it would cost and how long it would take to process a visa.

two other cousins in sydney officially identified her body on wednesday and were making arrangements to bring the "kindhearted" and "radiant" young woman home.

"her mum is bedridden due to this tragic news," ms kc said. "shristi was a very charming young lady. she was intelligent, beautiful, gracious and loved her mother the most. they were best friends.

"she loved her brother to bits and [was her] daddy's pride.

"we were not close cousins but i loved her."

ms kc set up a gofundme page for her younger cousin on wednesday afternoon, by wednesday night it had raised $700. her family has also been in contact with the nepalese embassy and the non residential nepalese association, who offered to help as much as they could.

she said she did not know much about mr uprety, except that he was friends with her cousin.

"i deeply sympathise with his family and friends because at least we know what happened to shristi but his whereabouts is still unknown. and i can't start to imagine the pain they must be going through," she said.

"we have a huge warm nepalese society here in australia and we look after each other in times in need like this."

the search on wednesday combed a wide area, encompassing sydney harbour, botany bay and out to sea.

water police boats searched several hundred metres off the beach, while a police helicopter and the westpac rescue helicopter circled above.

ms bhandari's friend pawan adhikari was at maroubra beach on tuesday as the search effort for the missing man was launched.

he told seven news she was a "good girl", describing her as "very nice" and "kind-hearted".

police said her death is not being treated as suspicious.

a report will be prepared for the coroner.