Sinead Moodliar: British student swept to sea when watching sunrise

Sinead Moodliar Image copyright Sinead Moodliar
Image caption Sinead Moodliar was on holiday over the Christmas period when she died

A British woman died after being swept out to sea in South Africa as she watched a sunrise, an inquest heard.

Philosophy student Sinead Moodliar, 19, was on holiday when she went to Umhlanga Rocks on 26 December.

She was standing on a rock when a "powerful wave washed her into the sea" and she died in hospital the following day.

Cambridgeshire's senior coroner David Heming called her death a "tragic, catastrophic accident".

The inquest in Huntingdon was told people on the beach heard the Anglia Ruskin University student's screams at about 05:15 local time.

Her father, Bob Moodliar, of Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, said a witness reported seeing his daughter struggling 35m (114.8ft) from the shore when another wave took her.

Image copyright Sinead Moodliar
Image caption Sinead Moodliar was awarded a posthumous degree by her university following her death

Mr Moodliar added that lifeguards were on the beach at the time because of the large numbers expected on Boxing Day, so were able to rescue his daughter.

But despite their efforts she died the following day.

A post-mortem examination, carried out in nearby Durban, found a head injury consistent with striking the rock and that she had died from complications after nearly drowning.

"She was just allowing the sea to wash over her feet when this happened," her father said.

"One wave came and engulfed her and the backwash took her into the sea."

Coroner Mr Heming said the "ferocious turbulence of the sea" had washed Miss Moodliar from the rock.

Her death was recorded as an accident.

Father-of-three Mr Moodliar said after the inquest: "We absolutely miss our daughter. We cannot come to terms with the fact she's no longer here."

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