Indian American drowns while swimming in Bali

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Aakansha Pande (Courtesy: World Bank)

An Indian American died on July 21 while swimming in strong waves in Seminyak, Bali.

Aakansha Pande, 37, who was a World Bank senior economist, was swimming in the ocean near the Double Six Hotel, in an area that was banned and though she was warned by the lifeguard, she still kept swimming, according to The Jakarta Post.

“At first, she returned to the beach. Then she moved to other side to swim. Our team also warned her and she returned to the beach. Because there were many visitors we had to watch at that time, we did not realize she was going to swim again,” Badung lifeguard coordinator Ketut Ipel told The Jakarta Post.

Pande was retrieved from the waters and given CPR until emergency personnel came to the scene, after which she was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Pande had been traveling to Bali with her husband.

Bali police spokesman Hengky Widjaja told reporters that “the victim died of drowning; there was no sign of violence.”

According to her World Bank profile, Pande was a senior health economist at the World Bank Group with more than 15 years of experience working in low, middle, and high income countries as well as extensive experience in conflict contexts.

She led the World Bank health portfolio in Jordan, which included a $150 million concessional financing loan in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank and the Global Concessional Financing Facility, in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Pande earned her Ph.D. in evaluative sciences and statistics for health policy at Harvard University, a master’s in global and population health from Harvard School of Public Health, a fellowship in global health from Cambridge University and a bachelor’s in molecular biology and international studies from Yale University.

Former U.S. Ambassador Nirupama Rao posted to Facebook: “So terribly saddened and deeply shocked by the death of the young and outstanding young World Bank economist Aakansha Pande in Bali. My thoughts are with her parents in Singapore and her husband Ziad Haider.”

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