Police officer killed after being 'sucked into whirlpool' trying to save woman

A police officer was one of two people killed after being vacuumed underwater in an unusual hot tub accident.

Senior Constable Kelly Foster, 39, tried to save a woman on Saturday afternoon while on a guided canyoning tour north of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

The other victim – who reportedly fell from her Lilo – is said to have been an international student from Chiswick in Sydney, although she has not yet been officially identified.

Police divers recovered the two bodies from the water on Sunday.

Acting NSW Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon said: “It is a very sad time for NSW Police and Kelly’s death is a loss to the entire community.

“Kelly was a highly respected and dedicated officer who is sorely missed by colleagues across the company.”

Police are waiting for confirmation that family members of the other victim have been notified.

Witnesses claim the first victim fell off her inflatable boat after being dragged into the hot tub before the officer tried to rescue her, according to New Zealand news agency Stuff.

“Hearing reports that Kelly tried to help another woman when she died shows her commitment to the community she served and an ability to put the needs of others before her own,” Lanyon said.

The search began around 2:30 p.m., before being interrupted around 6:00 p.m. due to bad weather and resumed at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday – with the bodies found at noon.

Police confirmed that the deaths were part of a canyoning group when the incident occurred.

No other group members were reportedly injured.

Foster joined the police force in 2010 before being confirmed as a police officer two years later and later confirmed as a chief police officer.

In 2014, she joined the State Crime Command as an intelligence analyst until last summer.

At one point, Foster’s career was interrupted after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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