Man Drowns In Weekend of Dangerous Surf

Volunteer lifesavers across the state were kept extremely busy this weekend with dangerous surf conditions hammering the coast of NSW.

Despite mid-winter traditionally being the surf life saving ‘offseason’, lifesavers were out in force working alongside NSW Police, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Marine Rescue and council lifeguards responding to a number of incidents across the state.

The most serious of these being the tragic presumed drowning of a 21 year old Irish surfer near Byron Bay who got into trouble in dangerous surf with two other surfers at Cape Byron.

One surfer managed to reach the shore on his own, another was washed onto the rocks before picked up while the third remained missing as a large scale search commenced at the area where he was last sighted.

Lifesavers were joined by the Westpac Helicopter, Ballina Jet Boat and NSW Police in the search until it was cancelled later in the day due to deteriorating conditions and poor light.

The search continued under the command of police on Sunday but was also later suspended due to the conditions.

Further south in Sydney a surfer was rescued 400m offshore at Lurline Bay in Maroubra after getting into difficulty in the huge surf while a large scale search commenced nearby at Tamarama after a surfer reported his 21yr old friend missing. The man was eventually located on land.

“The volunteer lifesavers involved in a number of incidents up and down the coast should be commended for their huge efforts in what was extremely testing conditions over the weekend in NSW,” said Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man’s family in Ireland with this tragedy once again highlighting the dangers of our coastline.”

Mon 21 Jul 2014