Senior Constable Kelly Foster, 39, drowned when she attempted to save an international student, 24, who was sucked into a whirlpool at the Wollangambe Canyon, on Mount Wilson, north-west of Sydney, on January 2.
The international student also died.
Senior Constable Foster’s family, friends and colleagues gathered in Lithgow for her funeral on Thursday afternoon.
Her parents and her partner Gavin Morom – who she had trekked to the picturesque spot with on the day of her death – were seen comforting each other during the emotionally-charged funeral at Lithgow Uniting Church on Thursday.
Senior Constable Kelly Foster, 39, died in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney while trying to save a young woman who got sucked into a whirlpool
The casket of Snr Cnst Foster is carried into the church by masked members of the NSW Police force on Thursday afternoon
The parents and of Snr Cnst Kelly Foster and the police officer’s partner comfort each other at the funeral service in Lithgow on Thursday
Mourners embrace each other as they arrive for the police funeral of Snr Cnst Kelly Foster on Thursday afternoon
The family of Snr Cnst Kelly Foster are seen in front of her casket for the emotionally-charged funeral at Lithgow Uniting Church
Snr Cnst Foster’s parents at her funeral on Thursday. The police officer had only recently returned to the NSW Police Force after overcoming breast cancer
Fellow police officers carried her coffin draped with an Australian flag into the church.
To allow members of the public to pay their respects, a funeral procession and marching escort then travelled along one of the town’s main roads.
Snr Cst Foster had served in the police force since 2010 and was highly regarded.
She was first stationed in Newtown in Sydney’s inner west and most recently worked at Lithgow Police Station.
Senior Constable Foster had trekked to the Wollangambe Canyon that day with her long-term partner – who posted about the trip on Strava, a popular social media app.
The couple bonded over their shared love of adventuring and regularly went hiking, camping and on mountain bike rides throughout Australia.
Family, friends and colleagues of the police officer gathered at Lithgow Uniting Church for her funeral on Thursday afternoon
Pictured: The order of service booklet for the funeral. Members of the public were allowed to pay their respects to the police officer during a procession through the town
The Blue Mountains, where Mr Morom grew up, was a regular visit for the pair in 2020, taking his 4WD on camping or day trips during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Senior Constable Foster only recently returned to the NSW Police Force after overcoming breast cancer.
The heroic policewoman had no hesitation before she dived in to try to save the woman from the raging waters, with other witnesses then throwing a rope into the creek in a bid to save her.
Acting Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon said she always ‘put the needs of others before her own’.
A motorcade of police motorbikes arrive at the officer’s funeral at Lithgow Uniting Church on Thursday afternoon – almost two weeks after her tragic death
Snr Cnst Foster’s police hat and medals are carried by two NSW Police officers at her funeral on Thursday
Mr Morom (right) had posted about his trek with Senior Constable Foster (left) on adventurers social media app Strava on Saturday. The policewoman only recently returned to the job after overcoming breast cancer
Police carry Snr Cnst Foster’s casket on Thursday. The seasoned police officer died while attempting to rescue a woman who had been been swept into a whirlpool
The police officer’s parents and her partner Gavin Morom are seen during Snr Cnst Foster’s police funeral on Thursday
Acting Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon had earlier described Snr Cnst Foster as a ‘highly regarded and dedicated officer who will be sorely missed by colleagues across the force’
‘It’s a very sad time for the NSW Police Force and Kelly’s death is a loss to the whole community,’ Acting Commissioner Lanyon said in a statement.
‘To hear reports that Kelly was trying to help another woman when she died demonstrates her commitment to the community she served and the ability to put the needs of others before her own.
‘Kelly was a highly regarded and dedicated officer who will be sorely missed by colleagues across the force.
‘Her policing career was put on hold when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, however, her strength to survive this and return to work is another testament to her strength and resilience.
An international student, 24, was among a group swimming on inflatable lilos at the popular Wollangambe Canyon (pictured) when she was sucked into the whirlpool. Her body was recovered on Sunday, along with Senior Constable Foster’s
‘Above all, Kelly was a kind and loving daughter, sister and partner.’
The international student was among a group swimming in the picturesque spot when she was swept up in the water.
Police and ambulance crews rushed to the scene about 2.30pm but the pair were lost beneath the surface.
A search for their bodies resumed on Sunday morning, after it was suspended about 6pm on Saturday because of poor weather.
Members of Senior Constable Foster’s family came to the canyon to watch the search in the desperate hope she would be found alive.
One fellow policewoman who joined the force at the same time as Senior Constable Foster remembered her as a ‘selfless and compassionate’ person.
Emergency services rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised about 2.30pm on Saturday, but poor weather conditions meant a search had to be called off about 6pm. When it resumed on Sunday the bodies of the two women were located by NSW Police divers
Eight other members of the group who the international student was with were uninjured
It’s believed both women were canyoning in water only that can only be reached after hours of hiking through rough terrain
‘RIP my old Academy mate. Always a selfless and compassionate individual. You will now be remembered as a hero. I will treasure the memories of our good times in Goulburn,’ a former colleague wrote.
The canyon is believed to have been flooded due to recent heavy rainfall.
The other members of the group were uninjured and were assisted by police officers and paramedics.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.