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Surf Lifesavers on patrol at Narrabeen SLSC on Sunday afternoon were faced with a sudden emergency situation with multiple patients requiring first aid and sadly one woman who died when she was struck by a falling pine tree.

At around 3.45pm on 19 December, the northern beaches was hit by a short but extremely violent storm which brought down trees and powerlines from Warriewood to Dee Why.

A large pine tree outside the Narrabeen SLSC was ripped from the ground and flung onto powerlines, striking three women nearby.

Volunteer lifesavers on patrol and council lifeguards scrambled to assist the injured, administering first aid for the two injured women until paramedics and police arrived. One of the women sustained serious spinal injuries.

Duty Officer Tracey Hare-Boyd who attended the incident to support the patrol members said “it was like a bomb had gone off. There was so much damage and debris, smashed cars and of course the terrible situation with the woman trapped under the tree.”

Paramedics praised the contribution of the lifesavers and said they were amazing, both in the way they remained calm in the chaos and the level of assistance they were able to provide other emergency services.

“This is an incredibly sad, freak accident and such a tragedy so close to Christmas,” said Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales. “Our deepest condolences are extended to the family of the deceased.

“I want to thank the lifesavers and duty officers who were there. This is what we train for, to respond to emergency situations both on and off the beach and I know that these members would be deeply saddened that the outcome was not the one they would have wanted.”

All lifesavers involved in the tragedy have been offered critical incident support.

Monday 20 December 2021