A teenage hero who helped to rescue a drowning man is devastated she will never get to meet the student she saved.
Police said Boobesh Palani, 26, died at Wellington Hospital yesterday morning with friends at his side.
Cousins Kelly McKay, 15, and Payge Olds, 16, helped to rescue Mr Palani, who almost drowned in Wellington Harbour on Monday night.
Mr Palani was studying in New Zealand.
Kelly was told yesterday morning Mr Palani was still alive. But yesterday evening she received a call from Victim Support telling her the sad news.
"It's just been awful," she said.
She said the cousins were with Mr Palani when he was first hospitalised.
Kelly said she was told she couldn't see him when the cousins went back to visit him later in the week.
"So we stayed there for about three hours and then they said they can't give out any information because we don't know him or anything. Me and Payge really, really, really wanted to go and see him. But I guess we can't now."
Kelly said she and Payge were eager to find out if Mr Palani would have his funeral here or in India.
She said she would like to meet Mr Palani's friends as well.
The hospital said it did not allow people to visit patients in intensive care or the maternity ward without family permission.
Earlier in the week, Payge spoke of her and Kelly's efforts to rescue Mr Palani, for which they were hailed by police as heroes.
"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," Payge said.