Friends in shock after Chinese citizen Xiaoyin Huang drowns at Karijini on road trip to Perth

The drowning death of a popular Chinese citizen has prompted friends in Broome to search for answers while her family in southeastern China struggles to bring her body home.

Xiaoyin Huang, known as Amy, had lived in Broome for about a year, working on accounts at the Roebuck Hotel.

The 31-year-old was on a road trip to Perth with a friend when she drowned in Karijini National Park shortly before Christmas.

At first unknowingly, those close to her feared the worst after several days without contact.

One of her good friends in Broome, Jialin Lu, eventually reached Mrs. Huang’s roadtrip partner over the phone to confirm the news.

“I lost my mind,” she said.

Karijini National Park
Police confirmed that Mrs Huang’s death in Karijini is being treated as non-suspicious.(Delivered by: Michael Reeves )

Mrs Lu said Mrs Huang was planning to spend Christmas in Perth before seeking work there.

Getting Amy home

Ms. Huang’s parents and boyfriend are now facing the process of trying to bring her body back to Guangdong Province in the southeastern part of China.

According to Ms Lu, they have had difficulty obtaining a death certificate.

“The only thing for the family is to bring Amy home as soon as possible,” she said.

woman sitting in Broome chinatown tuktuk
Xiaoyin “Amy” Huang lived in Broome for a year and worked at the Roebuck Hotel.(Delivered by: Jialin Lu)

Steve Bowyer was Mrs Huang’s housemate in Broome for the past year and said she would talk to her family and boyfriend in China every day.

“I just remember how sweet she was,” he said.

“I started calling her Microwave Amy because she only made microwave dinners.

Police are treating the death as non-suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

‘She did not know how to swim’

Friends said Ms. Huang did not know how to swim “at all.”

According to the Royal Life Saving WA (RLS WA), every fourth person in Australia is either a weak or bad swimmer.

RLS WA senior manager Lauren Nimmo said it was not just overseas visitors who were at risk.

There was a 20 per cent increase in drowning in Australia during the 12 months to June 2021, according to a report from the Royal Lifesaving Society Australia.

“Learning to swim is really important, especially in regional WA, where we see so many different waterways,” Ms Nimmo said.

Memories of Amy Huang will remain with Jialin Lu forever.

“She was very positive and always smiled. Always,” Ms. Lu said.

woman sits on fake crocodile and extends hand towards camera
A photo of Amy Huang taken by her friend, Jialin.(Delivered by: Jialin Lu)

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