Boxing Day Tragedy At Wooli Beach

Despite the best efforts of lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service and paramedics a man was unable to be revived at Wooli in Northern NSW on Monday.

The Grafton local aged in his late 50s was at Wooli Beach when he noticed a group of people including at least two young children in distress about 30 metres north of the flagged area.

It is understood the man was sitting on the beach with his nephew when he witnessed the incident shortly before 1pm.

The group had been swimming when they were caught by what was later described by lifeguards as a “flash rip.”

It became apparent to the man that the group was quickly tiring against the strong current and were being carried away from shore.

Without hesitation he entered the water in an attempt to offer assistance to the swimmers and was followed by the two on-duty lifeguards.

The lifeguards were able to get everyone to shore within minutes, but when they looked back they realised the man was in difficulty.

Upon re-entering the water they quickly reached the man and ascertained that he was unconscious and not breathing.

Once they got the man to the safety of the shoreline they immediately commenced CPR while also utilising oxygen and a defibrillator.

After being alerted to the incident, the State Operations Centre tasked paramedics to attend the scene with the Clarence Lifeguard Supervisor was also dispatched.

Despite 50 minutes of continuous treatment the man was unable to be revived.

The lifeguards involved in the incident have participated in a critical incident debriefing session while a report will be prepared for the coroner. Following today’s unsuccessful resuscitation attempt and a death in Southern Sydney on Christmas Day the NSW Coastal Drowning toll stands at 10.

Tips For Keeping Safe At The Beach

• Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
• Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
• Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
• Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising your arm
• In an emergency, dial Triple Zero Police
* For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App

Mon 26 Dec 2016