Chch woman drowns trying to save fiance
A Christchurch woman has drowned while trying to rescue her fiance from the sea in Western Australia.
Andrea Charlene Harris, 29, was rock fishing with her ‘‘soul mate’’ Kegan Myall, 30, at Twilight Bay, Esperance, when he slipped and fell into the water on the afternoon of May 26.
Harris went to his rescue, but slipped and fell. Myall was able to pull her from the water, but she drowned despite his frantic attempts to revive her.
Sheri Myall told The Press this evening news of her future daughter-in-law’s death was ‘‘like a nightmare’’.
Her son phoned on the evening of the incident to tell her the news, but was so distraught he was unable to talk, she said. ‘‘It’s surreal.’’
Harris grew up in Christchurch and was a former student of Middleton Grange School.
She moved to Australia with Kegan, a former Shirley Boys' High School student, about four years ago.
They had lived in Brisbane, but bought a caravan and were en route to Perth at the time of the drowning, Myall said.
The couple, who had been engaged about 18 months, planned to work there and save enough money to travel back to Christchurch and get married.
They had been fishing, ‘‘taking time sightseeing and having a great time’’ throughout the two month road trip, Myall said.
It was on one of those fishing stops that Harris drowned while trying to save her son, she said.
She described how her son tried to give Harris CPR on top of a life buoy in the water, which someone had tossed to her. His attempts continued when her lifeless body was pulled from the water, she said.
‘‘He’s absolutely distraught,’’ Myall said. ‘‘[They were] total soul mates. She was good for him.
‘‘She [Harris] was full of love ... and always had a twinkle in her eye.’’
Harris’ body would be brought home to New Zealand on Thursday ahead of her funeral on Monday.