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World Bank official drowns at Bali beach

World Bank senior economist Aakanksha Pande, 37, died after being swept away by strong waves at Double Six Beach in Seminyak, Bali, on Saturday.

Denpasar Water Police chief Comr. Wayan Kesuma Jaya said Pande, a United States citizen, was swept away by high and strong waves while swimming in the evening.

“She was swept by the waves when she was swimming at the beach in front of Double Six Hotel in Seminyak,” Kesuma Jaya said.

The beach lifeguard immediately tried to save Pande, who resided in Singapore, and took her to Siloam Hospital. However, she was pronounced dead on arrival. “When she arrived at hospital, the doctor declared that she had died,” he added.

Badung lifeguard coordinator Ketut Ipel told The Jakarta Post that before the incident, the victim had been warned twice by the beach lifeguard. “She was swimming in an area where swimming is banned. We have put [no swimming signs] in the area. But she kept swimming,” Ipel said.

Ipel said swimming was prohibited in the area because it was known for strong currents.

The victim, he explained, returned to the beach, said OK, gave a thumbs-up gesture and went back into the water to swim. “She was warned twice. At first, she returned to the beach. Then she moved to other side to swim. Our team also warned her and she returned to the beach. Because there were many visitors we had to watch at that time, we did not realise she was going to swim again,” he said.

Ipel added that they did CPR after retrieving her from the water.

Earlier, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had warned that high waves would hit Bali.

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