Kiwi hero swept away in Indonesia while trying to rescue girlfriend

Temson Junior Simeki and his partner, Leonie Hafke, were swept away in Angel's Billabong.
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Temson Junior Simeki and his partner, Leonie Hafke, were swept away in Angel's Billabong.

A New Zealander has been swept away to sea in Indonesia while attempting to rescue his girlfriend.

Auckland man Temson Junior Simeki and his partner, Leonie Hafke, were swept away in Angel's Billabong, a tourist spot off the coast of Bali, on Monday night.

The Balinese website Tribun Bali said the couple, along with an Indonesian friend, were taking photos on the edge of a cliff.

Auckland man Temson Junior Simeki leapt into the sea in an attempt to save his girlfriend.
SUPPLIED

Auckland man Temson Junior Simeki leapt into the sea in an attempt to save his girlfriend.

They were struck by sudden large waves, which washed 20-year-old Hafke into the sea and knocked their friend to the ground.

Simeki, 23, reportedly jumped into the ocean to help Hafke but was instead swept away.

Tribun Bali said the young woman, who is originally from Germany, was rescued by an Australian snorkeller.

However, Simeki, from Riverhead in northwest Auckland, disappeared amongst the waves.

Their friend remained in hospital on Tuesday morning with head injuries.

A search for Simeki was called off on Monday evening but would continue from first light on Tuesday, local time.

His family was too upset to comment on Tuesday morning.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been in contact with the family.

"The New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta is following up with local police," a spokesman said.

ANGEL'S BILLABONG

Angel's Billabong, a natural infinity pool, is a tourist destination on the island of Nusa Penida, near Broken Beach.

Reviews left by travellers on the website TripAdvisor warn of strong currents and rogue waves.

Just one week ago, a traveller from San Francisco posted a review telling others to "be careful".

"A friend of mine was swept across the sharp rocks by an unusually high wave that entered the billabong area," he said. 

"During my own visit last week, I slipped and fell on the sharp lava rocks and broke my foot and twisted my ankle."

Another traveller said that large waves were known to smash people into "sharp rocks".

The website TripCanvas also notes that Angel's Billabong "can be dangerous".

"There have been people swept out to the ocean by waves rushing in."

 - Stuff

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