The 45-year-old, an employee of Australia Post, was a “much-loved member” of the Lalor post office.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing of Aida Hamed,” a spokesman for Australia Post said.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Aida’s family and colleagues at this sad time.”
Another friend wrote on Facebook: “You will always be my sunshine, my beautiful friend. You were taken from us way too soon.”
Another said Ms Hamed was “loved by everyone” and had “such a beautiful soul and heart”.
“No words can be said to describe the pain of losing you,” another friend wrote. “You brought happiness to everyone that met you with your gorgeous smile and warming heart, we will miss you forever.”
Several helicopters were deployed to the dramatic scene at Bushrangers Bay where two men had jumped into the water to rescue Ms Hamed, her friend and two teenage girls after they were swept into the sea by a large wave.
Victoria Police confirmed a 45-year-old woman, a 47-year-old woman, a 19-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl had been swept into the sea about 3.30pm on Wednesday. Two men, aged 28 and 47, then jumped in after them.
Multiple helicopters from Victoria Police, Life Saving Victoria and Air Ambulance scoured the water for the six people, alongside water police and local lifesavers.
All were pulled from the water, including Ms Hamed. Paramedics transported the five survivors to hospital: four to Frankston Hospital and one to Rosebud Hospital.
Mornington Peninsula Local Area Commander Inspector Janene Denton said if two bystanders hadn’t jumped in to assist the four family members, there might have been more fatalities.
“If they hadn’t done that, I think more people [would have] drowned, more people [would have] lost their life,” Inspector Denton said.
“It can be very, very hazardous … these waves crept up in this situation.”
Inspector Denton said one of the men, an off-duty lifeguard, grabbed his surfboard and huddled the imperilled swimmers together to keep them afloat until they could be rescued.
Three of the women, including Ms Hamed, were winched out of the water by helicopters. The 13-year-old girl and the two rescuers were pulled into a Victoria Police boat.
In a separate incident, a man in his 80s died on Wednesday after being pulled unconscious from the water at Rye front beach.
The day’s third drowning happened on Wednesday night at Venus Bay in Gippsland where, police said, a teenage girl was seen struggling in the water about 7.30pm and a number of people entered the water to help her. One of those who went to help, a woman in her 20s, got into trouble herself.
Police said an off-duty lifeguard pulled the woman from the water and started CPR but could not revive her.
All others involved in the incident came out of the water unharmed, including the teenager who had initially been in distress.
Police will prepare reports for the coroner for all three deaths.
Meanwhile, police are also investigating after a three-year-old girl was pulled unconscious from Lysterfield Lake about 5.50pm on Wednesday. Emergency Services worked on the girl and she was revived. She was transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital and remained in a critical condition on Thursday morning.
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
Rachel is a city reporter for The Age.
David Estcourt is a court and general news reporter at The Age.