Beccie Soetekouw defends family's houseboat lifestyle after daughter Zeinobiyah's death

The daughter died in July.
The daughter died in July. Photo credit: Our Round The World Adventure / Facebook

The mother of a three-year-old who drowned in Australia after falling from her family's houseboat has defended their lifestyle and hit back at the family's haters.

In July, Zeinobiyah Soetekouw was found dead in the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, after likely going overboard from her family's houseboat where she had been playing.

Zeinobiyah was one of 11 children in the Soetekouw family who have been living and travelling on the yacht for nearly three years. The family documents their travels on the Our Round the World Adventure Facebook page.

The death of the three-year-old brought intense media scrutiny on the family and now her mother, Beccie, has hit back at the haters, defending her children's lifestyle.

"The thing is, our kids live an extraordinary life," she wrote on the Facebook page.

"What other kids get to see whales beside the boat, as they are sailing up the coast. Or dolphins playing at the bow as we move along the water.

"What other kids get to see the stars that are lit up like fireflies because there are no lights to dampen them. Or meet the amount of extraordinary people that our kids have met."

She said her kids "live… not merely survive", but admitted the tragedy with her daughter had changed her outlook on life where she didn't take it for granted. 

Beccie wants to continue to talk about the tragedy in order to make others realise they shouldn't keep things bottled up. 

"I know that us talking openly about how we feel, us talking openly about Zeinobiyah and us talking openly about life in general is helping so many others that need this too.

"This is not just about us. Death never it. But it is about learning to move forward and live with your loved one ever with you."

She said she wouldn't let criticism affect how she lived and wanted to say "goodbye" to those who believed what she said were incorrect media reports about the family.

"Goodbye. We hope you find your own happiness in life, as we are beginning to discover ours again."

The family sold their Tasmanian farm in 2016 to begin sailing, with Beccie home-schooling the children.