A fundraiser for the family of a New Zealander who drowned in Australia has raised more than $2500 in 15 hours.

Seti Tuaopepe drowned at Penrith Beach in west Sydney on Tuesday afternoon while paddleboarding with his children.

New South Wales Police said they received a report that Tuaopepe had disappeared underwater at 2.35pm and didn’t resurface.

His body was found later that evening, at 6.15pm, following a lengthy search involving divers and a helicopter.

A GoFundMe page set up by Taylah Lagaaia, a relative of Tuaopepe’s wife, is asking for $10,000 to support the family, including five children.

Lagaaia revealed Tuaopepe was trying to save his kids when he drowned.

“Seti was a dedicated father and husband who would sacrifice all for his family,” she wrote.

“His kids meant the world to him, and he cherished the life they had together.”