Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

Teen who drowned in irrigation channel named

The gateway against which a teenager drowned while swimming in an irrigation waterway in Canterbury's Waimakariri River. Photo / supplied
The gateway against which a teenager drowned while swimming in an irrigation waterway in Canterbury's Waimakariri River. Photo / supplied

An 18-year-old woman who drowned while swimming with friends in rural Canterbury last week has been named as Ashleigh Jai Kumar.

The teenager died on Wednesday after becoming pinned by fast-flowing water against a grate in an irrigation system lake at a popular swimming spot off the Waimakariri River.

Friends battled for 20 minutes to save her life but she died at the scene before emergency services could get to her.

Several death notices published today mourn the loss of "treasurer daughter'' of Francis and Kate Kumar, and ``treasured sister'' of Shaan. One notice says: "We love you Ashleigh. Rest in peace sweetheart.

"Dearly loved by all her cousins in Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. Loved by all her wonderful friends. Adored and loved by her pet dog Harlow (her `baby boy').''

Her funeral will be held this Thursday at the Aurora Centre at Burnside High School in Christchurch.

The notice asks for donations to the SPCA in lieu of flowers.

- APNZ

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