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Seven drownings in six days marked a devastating week on our coastline which saw the coastal drowning toll for the summer to date soar to 23.

The period from 7-13 February saw three coastal drownings on the state’s Central Coast, and one on the North Coast, Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and the Far South Coast.

Yesterday, just before 6PM, the seventh drowning in less than a week occurred at Kiama when a man was washed out to sea by a large wave while swimming at the Kiama Blowhole rock pool.

Surf Life Saving NSW assets were tasked once the SLSNSW State Operations Centre (SOC) became aware of the job, however the man was pulled into shore by a member of the public.

CPR was performed on the rock platform however the man was declared deceased at the scene.

It means we have now seen nine drownings in February and the coastal drowning toll for the period dating July 1-now sits at 35.

Specific to summer, the 23 drownings we have seen since December 1 surpasses last year’s figure for the same period – a year in which drowning figures reached a record high.

“The last week has been terrible for a number of families across the state who didn’t have their loved ones return home to them,” SLSNSW CEO, Steve Pearce said.

“This has been one of our worst summers on record and while the holiday period may have ended, we are still seeing huge beach visitation numbers and, tragically, the coastal drowning figure continues to rise.

“I must reiterate a very familiar message – if you are planning a trip to the coastline, please do so by visiting a patrolled location and swimming between the red and yellow flags.”

Tuesday 14 February 2023