A man has drowned on an unguarded beach on the NSW Mid North Coast, prompting a warning from surf rescuers ahead of the Australia Day holiday.
Most important points:
- Bystanders resuscitated a man who was pulled from the water, but he could not recover
- The drowning is the 40th fatal accident on the coastal waterway this summer
- Surf Life Saving Australia urges swimmers to avoid unguarded beaches
Emergency services were called to rocks near Delicate Nobby, north of Port Macquarie, just after 5pm yesterday after reports of an unconscious man being pulled from the water.
Members of the public performed CPR until police and paramedics arrived, but the man died at the scene.
Police have not been able to formally identify the man, but it is believed he is a man in his 50s from Queensland.
Danger of drowning on Australia Day
The latest drowning marks the 40th fatality on coastal waters since the start of summer, according to Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA).
“All of those drownings have occurred in unpatrolled locations or outside patrol hours,” said chairman Chris Jacobson.
“We have some beautiful places all over the country…but about 5 percent of the coastline is patrolled by life-saving services.
“If you get into a crack [at an unpatrolled beach] don’t panic, don’t try to fight the crack… lie on your back, keep calm, look around and call for help.
SLSA is urging people to be vigilant about water safety ahead of the Australia Day holiday, when the risk of drowning along the coast is four times higher as large crowds flock to the beach.
“Stop, look and plan. When you go to the beach, stop and make sure there are no gulf currents… see if there are any other hazards in the area,” Jacobson said.
“To stay safe, plan to swim between the red and yellow flags and get some rescue gear or be aware of what’s around to help.
“If you’re doing a rescue, don’t go into the water unassisted without something that will help you stay afloat.”
Mr. Jacobson also reminds anyone planning activities near coastal waters, such as rock fishing, boating or rowing, to wear a life jacket.
He said it was important for people to be careful about drinking alcohol near waterways and urged people to ensure children are supervised at all times.