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Despite the best efforts of surf lifesavers and other emergency service responders, a 55-year-old man died and his son is in hospital after getting into difficulty in a rip at Frazer Park Beach on the NSW Central Coast.

At around 1:30pm on Sunday 13 December, a member of the public noticed two men experiencing difficulty in a strong rip current at unpatrolled Frazer Park Beach in the Munmorah State Conservation Area.

The two men were struggling to stay afloat, so members of the public went into the water to assist. They pulled both the men from the water unconscious and called emergency services on triple zero.

A Surf Life Saving NSW Inflatable Rescue Boat and two jetskis, crewed by volunteer lifesavers and Lake Macquarie Lifeguards, were launched from nearby patrolled beach locations - Catherine Hill Bay and The Lakes. Surf Life Saving Duty Officers were also tasked to the incident, as was The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on both men by members of the public and emergency services teams. However, the 55-year-old man could not be revived. The man’s 20-year-old son was revived and taken to John Hunter Hospital.

Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman said it was a difficult situation for all involved, made more challenging due to the isolation of the area.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the community members who rescued the men and raised the alarm. They placed their lives at risk to rescue these men,” said Joel Wiseman.

“Our thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to the family and friends of the father and son at this very sad time,” said Mr Wiseman.

Surf Life Saving NSW is preparing for what will be an extremely busy and challenging summer after the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on local tourism.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce said that this summer will be unlike any other summer we have seen due to travel restrictions, both domestic and international, making the NSW coastline the destination of choice for many families.

“We have already seen many beaches inundated by locals and domestic tourists alike, who want to make up for the Australian summer that was stolen from them last year - due to the devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 social distance restrictions.

“Our strong message to beachgoers this summer is to plan to swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags so our surf lifesavers and Lifeguards can respond quickly if you get into difficulty,” Steven Pearce said.

Beach Safety Tips

  • 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 one arm

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero

  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App.

Sunday 13 December 2020