An Anglia Ruskin student died after being swept out to sea after she had gone to the beach to see the sunrise on Boxing Day last year, an inquest heard.
Sinead Moodliar, 19, was standing on a rock at Umhlanaga Rocks, South Africa, when the tragedy happened, an inquest was told on Monday (August 12).
Cambridgeshire's senior coroner David Heming said: "This is a tragic, catastrophic accident.
"Sinead had gone to a beach area to witness the sunrise.
"While standing on a rocky area, a powerful wave washed her into the sea."
People on the beach reported hearing screams at 5.15am.
Miss Moodliar was dragged from the water by lifeguards and paramedics resuscitated her, but she died in hospital on December 27.
The inquest was attended by her parents Bob and Noeleen Moodliar, of Wilburton near Ely.
Dad rushed to South Africa but was too late
Mr Moodliar, a dad-of-three, said he spoke to his daughter while she was in a restaurant on Christmas Day and she "seemed well and bubbly", and she later went to the beach.
He said he took a flight from the UK to South Africa as soon as he heard his daughter was involved in an accident, but she died before he could arrive.
Mr Moodliar, who operates a franchise of Subway restaurants, said his daughter had been standing on a rock when the wave took her.
"She was just allowing the sea to wash over her feet when this happened," he said.
"One wave came and engulfed her and the backwash took her into the sea."
He said the family feel as if she is still on holiday.
Mr Moodliar added after the inquest: "We absolutely miss our daughter.
"We cannot come to terms with the fact she's no longer here."
Witnesses said they saw Sinead struggling
He said that a witness reported seeing his daughter struggling 35 metres out when another wave took her.
He said lifeguards were due to start their shift at 6am but had arrived early as they were expecting large numbers of people on Boxing Day, so were able to rescue his daughter.
"Christmas and Boxing Day, lots of people sleep on the beach even as its their summer so 5am is quite bright," he said.
He said tRead More – Source