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Hero cop Kelly Foster farewelled after drowning trying to save a tourist in Blue Mountains

A hero police officer who drowned trying to pull a young canyoner from a whirlpool that sucked her underwater  has been given an emotional farewell with a full police funeral.

Senior Constable Kelly Foster, 39, died during an unsuccessful attempt to save an international student, 24, who was sucked in at the Wollangambe Canyon, on Mount Wilson, north west of Sydney, on January 2.

Senior Constable Foster’s family, friends and colleagues gathered in Lithgow, in the Blue Mountains, for her funeral on Thursday afternoon.

Her parents and her partner Gavin Morom – who trekked to the picturesque spot with her on the day of her death – were seen comforting each other during the funeral at Lithgow Uniting Church on Thursday.

Fellow police officers carried her coffin draped with an Australian flag into the church.

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

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 casket of Snr Cnst Foster is carried into the church by masked members of the NSW Police force on Thursday afternoon

The parents of Snr Cnst Kelly Foster and the police officer's partner comfort each other at the funeral service in Lithgow on Thursday

 The parents 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

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

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

 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

Other officers then followed carrying the 39-year-old’s police medals. 

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.

Senior Constable Foster 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 and Mr Morom 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

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

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

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

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

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’.

Snr Cnst Foster's police hat and medals are carried by two NSW Police officers at her funeral on Thursday

Snr Cnst Foster’s police hat and medals are carried by two NSW Police officers at her funeral on Thursday

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

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

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'

 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’

Members of the NSW Police stand in a guard of honour to salute the casket of Snr Cnst Foster as it leaves the Lithgow Uniting Church on Thursday

Members of the NSW Police stand in a guard of honour to salute the casket of Snr Cnst Foster as it leaves the Lithgow Uniting Church on Thursday

Three police officers stand with a flag bearing the crest of the NSW Police Force outside the funeral on Thursday afternoon

Three police officers stand with a flag bearing the crest of the NSW Police Force outside the funeral on Thursday afternoon

A NSW Police officer salutes in front of police motorbikes during Snr Cnst Foster's funeral on Thursday

A NSW Police officer salutes in front of police motorbikes during Snr Cnst Foster’s funeral on Thursday

Officers on motorbikes and on horseback escort the hearse through Lithgow following the police funeral on Thursday afternoon

Officers on motorbikes and on horseback escort the hearse through Lithgow following the police funeral on Thursday afternoon

Hundreds of well-wishers took to the streets of Lithgow for the procession on Thursday to pay their respects to the police officer

Hundreds of well-wishers took to the streets of Lithgow for the procession on Thursday to pay their respects to the police officer

Mr Morom (right) had posted about his trek with Snr Cnst Foster (left) on adventurers social media app Strava the day of her death. The policewoman only recently returned to the job after overcoming breast cancer

Mr Morom (right) had posted about his trek with Snr Cnst Foster (left) on adventurers social media app Strava the day of her death. The policewoman only recently returned to the job after overcoming breast cancer

‘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 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 Snr Cnst Foster's

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 Snr Cnst 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

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

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

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. 

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