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A drowning fatality at Warriewood and successful rescues and resuscitations at North Palm Beach and Cronulla were among a spate of serious incidents up and down the NSW coastline which ensured a difficult start to the new year for lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers.

Traditionally one of the busiest and most dangerous days on the calendar, the first day of 2022 saw the Surf Life Saving NSW volunteers and lifeguards respond to dozens of high category serious incidents due to hot weather, challenging surf and large crowds that converged to the coastline to celebrate the New Year.

Among these serious incidents was the death of a rock fisherman at Warriewood who was found unconscious in the water by surfers. Once on the shore CPR was administered but attempts to save the man’s life were unsuccessful.

At North Palm Beach a 41-year-old male was dragged unconscious from the surf and CPR was applied by lifesavers and lifeguards for 40 minutes, resulting in the patient being successfully resuscitated.

At Cronulla, a baby was presented as unresponsive to patrolling lifesavers by the family, who had come from a nearby park. First aid was applied by the lifesavers and lifeguards resulting in the baby regaining consciousness and breathing on their own.

Further south, a seven-year-old female was pulled from the surf where she was found face down at Windang. She was placed on oxygen and soon regained consciousness. She has since been transported to Wollongong Hospital where she is alert and breathing with assistance.

A 9-year-old boy was pulled unconscious from Brighton le Sands by family members and successfully resuscitated.

Of note, too, is an ongoing incident at Garie in Sydney’s south where a 26-year-old girl was pulled from a rip and treated by patrolling lifesavers. NSW Ambulance is currently on scene while the Toll Helicopter was also requested.

Meanwhile, six people have been pulled from the water at Maroubra and are currently being treated on scene.

To 6.00pm, eight 13 SURF incidents had been recorded by the State Operations Centre, along with 13 Ambulance callouts, two shark sightings at Merimbula and Kurnell, and three vessels in distress.

“We know that New Year’s Day is often a very tricky day for lifesavers and lifeguards across the state, but today was truly something else,” Surf Life Saving NSW President, George Shales said.

“The volume of incidents today and the courage and exceptional skill our volunteer lifesavers have shown today has demonstrated just how outstanding the lifesaving community truly is. We have definitely saved multiple lives today.

“While it’s never nice to reflect on a day with a fatality, it’s a sage reminder to visit patrolled beaches when you plan to head to the coastline and check the BeachSafe App to ensure the conditions will not create unnecessary hazards.”

With further warm weather predicted tomorrow, Surf Life Saving NSW is encouraging potential beachgoers to undertake safe practices when visiting the coast.

Saturday 1 January 2022