Tragic new details emerge about the death of young dad, 35, at Sydney’s newest ‘beach’ at Penrith – as family share how he sacrificed everything for his family
A much-loved father who drowned on a new man-made beach has been remembered as a 'devoted husband' after he was killed trying to save his children.
Seti Tuaopepe, 35, drowned on Boxing Day at Penrith Beach in Castlereagh, western Sydney.
The St Mary's father was paddle boarding with his three children 20 meters from shore when he disappeared underwater.
Mr Tuaopepe held his panicked children above the water as he waited for help.
The three children survived, but Mr Tuaopepe's body was found around 6.15pm.
Seti Tuaopepe drowned on the man-made Penrith Beach in western Sydney
He tried paddle boarding with his children on Boxing Day.
A family member has now set up a GoFundMe to support his wife Mina and their five children during the 'incredibly tough time'.
'Seti Tuaopepe sadly lost his life trying to save his children at Penrith Beach. His children meant the world to him, and he cherished the life they had together,” the fundraiser said.
The 35-year-old was described as a 'devoted husband and father' who sacrificed everything for his family.
“In addition to having ambitious goals for his family and a deep faith in the Lord, he has worked extremely hard to achieve them,” the GoFundMe says.
In less than 24 hours after the fundraiser launched, more than $3,000 had been raised.
The 35-year-old's body was found about four hours after his disappearance.
The beloved father's disappearance prompted an immediate response from emergency services, with the beach closed on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lifeguards were on duty at the time, but Mr Tuaopepe was reportedly swimming outside the designated safe zone.
The beach did not open to the public until December 19.
Friends of St Mary's father have flooded social media with heartbreaking tributes.
“You were kind, quiet and a very gentle classmate,” a friend wrote on Facebook.
“You were a family man…condolences to your wife, children and family. Rest in peace and in the loving arms of our Lord.”
Penrith Beach is a man-made waterway built on the site of an old quarry at a cost of approximately $1.7 million.