An Indian man rescued from Wellington Harbour by two teenage girls on Monday has died today.
Police said Boobesh Palani, 26, died at Wellington Hospital surrounded by his friends.
Mr Palani's family thanked the public for their support over the last few days. "This is a tragedy but thanks to the public's help we were able to establish Mr Palani's identity which meant his friends were at his side for his final few days," police said.
Mr Palani, who was studying in New Zealand, was rescued from the water at Burdan's Gate, Eastbourne, about 10.30pm on Monday by two teenage girls and two young men.
Mr Palani's identity was initially unknown. But a Kiwi in Sri Lanka who saw the man's photo on New Zealand news websites identified him.
One the two teenage girls who helped to rescue Mr Palani from the water said earlier this week that he was completely submerged when she reached to him.
Cousins Kelly McKay 15, and Payge Olds, 16, were with a groups of friends when they heard that Mr Palani was in trouble.
Almost in tears
Payge said although she no longer took swimming lessons, she soon realised if she did not help, the man would not survive.
"No one else was jumping in so I just thought, you know what, I am just going to step up and do it because we just need to help this guy before it's too late," she said.
Payge swam between 70-80m out to the drowning man, guided by two men on the shore who were shining lights on the water.
When she reached Mr Palani he was completely submerged.
"I just turned him over so his head was out of the water and then tried my best to get him back to shore," she said. "He was so much bigger than me it was really hard to lift him."
Payge said she began to panic, so she called out to shore and two men, aged 25 and 19, swam out to help her.
"They helped me bring him back. I was just freaking out that I wasn't going to be able to get him over, I was screaming and yelling and almost in tears."
When Mr Palani was eventually pulled to shore, Kelly performed CPR before emergency services arrived.
Both girls have maintained that there was nothing heroic about their efforts.
"We are just average girls - we are just doing what we can to help the world be a better place," Payge said.
"If we were in danger I am pretty sure [the man] would have done the same thing. If anyone is in danger they would do the same thing," Kelly said.