Tragedy struck on Wednesday, March 23, when 21 year old Harsimranjit Singh went to Wollongong beach at around 7pm, never to be heard from again.
Worried friends contacted his sister in Canberra, and the Police launched a massive manhunt on the beach. It was reported that a man wearing board shorts and a turban was seen entering the water, but he failed to return.
The search was called off after 3 hours on Wednesday night and resumed again the next morning.
At around 2pm on Thursday, the young international student's body was recovered, and family was notified.
Harsimranjit was the only son of elderly parents who live in a village in Punjab. He used to live with his sister over the weekend in Queanbeyan (south east of Canberra), and worked at Wollongong.
Mr Jagtar Singh, a relative, and also a resident of Canberra, spoke to SBS Punjabi about this terrible tragedy, with a heartfelt warning to all international students about:
* changed conditions at sea on a full moon night;
* venturing into the sea only if the beach is manned by life guards
* always swimming between the flags.
And above all, to be extremely cautious if you don't know now to swim - the smallest mistake "becomes a life sentence for many in the family," said a heart-broken Mr Singh.