Skip to main content

A large group of tourists have been rescued at Birubi Beach this evening, just two days after a man drowned and a further three were transported to hospital having come into trouble at the same beach.

It is the third critical incident at the Port Stephens beach in less than two weeks.

The Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre was alerted to the situation unfolding just after 7.00pm where a Triple Zero phone call from a member of the public had reported four people, described as two adults and two children, were caught in a rip some 100m from shore directly in front of the Birubi Point SLSC.

At the time the beach was unpatrolled.

Surf Life Saving NSW assets along with NSW Police and paramedics rushed to the scene to find the incident had actually seen seven people struggling in the ocean – an initial three adults and two children before two bystanders from the same group ran in to help and then found themselves in trouble.

All bar one had self rescued as emergency services arrived, with the other being rescued by an eighth person – an unrelated member of the public.

Surf Life Saving members assisted with triage, treatment and transport of patients on the beach, with all seven assessed on the scene. One was taken to hospital for further checks.

The group were tourists from outside the area and the incident occurred in the exact same catchment of water as a drowning under a fortnight ago on 16 December.

There has been two drownings at Birubi Beach in the past two weeks, the first on 16 December and the second two days ago on 27 December, and they followed incidents at Boat Harbour and Stockton in October and November.

Yesterday additional lifesaving assets from Sydney arrived to assist local volunteers and relieve Duty Officers who are already conducting additional dusk patrols after normal club patrol hours in response to the recent incidents in the area.

Friday 29 December 2023