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Tragedy unfolded on Sunday with two men sadly losing their lives in separate coastal incidents.

Around 7.30am on Sunday 7 March, Police requested assistance from Surf Life Saving to an emergency for a man who had gone into the water at Pearl Beach on the Central Coast after his dog. The dog was able to get back to shore however the man in his 70s was swept out to sea in the hazardous conditions.

The SLSNSW State Operations Centre tasked the Umina SLSC callout team who responded in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) and a jetski from the Central Coast Support Operations group. Council lifeguards were also alerted and responded. A search of the water was conducted and a short time later the Toll Rescue Helicopter sighted the man in the water unconscious.

Hazardous surf conditions made the rescue operation difficult and the unconscious patient was transported by the Umina IRB to a Water Police vessel offshore where CPR was conducted. Tragically the man was declared deceased.

The second drowning occurred at the unpatrolled Hyland Park beach on the NSW North Coast while swimming with a group of friends.

The SLSNSW State Operations Centre was contacted by Police after a Triple Zero call from a group of people who said they saw their friend face down in the water about a kilometre north of Nambucca Heads SLSC after he failed to return to shore.

Surf Life Saving NSW Support Operations teams were activated and responded with jetskis and additional resources.  

An off-duty lifesaver from Nambucca Heads SLSC assisted paramedics and drove them along the beach in the all-terrain 4WD vehicle to the man’s last known location, and where his friends were waiting.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the State Operations Centre received a call from lifesavers on scene that a member of the public had located the man’s body further north at Hyland Park. All emergency services responded to this location where paramedics attempted resuscitation on the patient before declaring him deceased.

SLSNSW President George Shales OAM reminded the public of how important it was to swim between the red and yellow flags at a patrolled beach during local patrol hours.

“For us as lifesavers, responding to tragic incidents such as these is always a reminder of how important it is to avoid unpatrolled locations or beaches that have been closed due to hazardous surf. It is important to only swim where lifesavers and lifeguards are able to see you and can assist in an emergency.

“SLSNSW extends our condolences to the victims’ families and friends and we thank those lifesavers who responded to assist where they could,” said George Shales.

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 wear a lifejacket if rockfishing or boating

  • 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 access restrictions visit the Website or Download the App


Monday 8 March 2021