Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Rescuers drown after boat flips in surf off Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

Rescuers drown after boat flips in surf off Victoria’s Great Ocean Road
April 21, 2019

Two volunteer surf life saving rescuers, believed to be father and son, have died off Victoria’s southern coast while rescuing a tourist in treacherous swells.

A 30-year-old male tourist was wading at the mouth of the Sherbrook River when he got into difficulty about 10.40am today (21st April). A rescue boat was deployed to help the man but the boat flipped in the surf, throwing the three rescuers into the ocean.

Two of the rescuers, men aged 32 and 71, died. The third rescuer and the tourist were both winched to the hospital via an emergency helicopter.

The surviving rescuer has serious injuries, while the tourist is in a stable condition.

In a statement on the incident, Life Saving Victoria President, Paul James, said the rescuers were “highly experienced and long-serving members of the Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club”.

James advised that “they ventured out as a group of three rescuers in a six-metre rigid hull inflatable boat. For whatever reason, that boat’s gotten into difficulty.

“(The water was) very dangerous. I understand the boat was operating in a two-metre swell - a very high swell - and we know it is very treacherous down there and not a place to be swimming at all.

“These brave people, these heroes, have gone out to try to help.”

James’ statement added “on behalf of Life Saving Victoria, I would like to pass on to our members the tragic news of the drowning of two of our highly-experienced and respected volunteer members today. They were long-standing members of the Port Campbell SLSC, who sadly died in the line of service while performing a rescue with another member, who is currently recovering in hospital.

“This is a tragic outcome and our hearts go out to all involved - the friends and family of the deceased members and recovering member, as well as to the wider community of Port Campbell, the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club and the wider lifesaving community, who we know will share our deep sadness by today’s incident.

“We also extend our condolences to other emergency services affected, in particular the CFA and SES, and commend those who worked so hard from other emergency services agencies today in the rescue efforts.”

The Victorian Water Minister, Lisa Neville, said an investigation would be undertaken following the incident, advising “this is an unspeakable tragedy and my thoughts are with the two victims’ family and friends during this terribly sad time.

“These individuals selflessly volunteered to keep people safe and devastatingly, they’ve lost their lives doing that.”

A report will be prepared for the Victorian Coroner.

Image: Port Campbell.

Related Articles

18th April 2019 - Surf Life Saving NSW urge Easter water safety

18th February 2019 - Federal Opposition leader pledges $46 million for national schoolchildren’s swimming lessons program

7th February 2019 - Surf Life Saving Australia receives funding for its Seniors fitness program

14th January 2019 - Life Saving Victoria urges beachgoers to use technology to stay safe around the water

7th December 2018 - Australian Water Safety council addresses drowning among multicultural communities

5th November 2018 - Life Saving Victoria launches Safer Public Pools Code of Practice

30th April 2018 - Life Saving Victoria welcomes additional water safety funding

4th December 2017 - Report reveals 20% rise in drowning deaths in Victoria in 2016/17

6th November 2017 - Everyday Lifesavers recognised at Victorian Pool Safety Summit

30th June 2017 - Royal Life Saving report reveals non-fatal drowning incidents are on the rise

14th March 2017 - Life Saving Victoria concerned by rising drowning toll

30th January 2017 - Surf Life Saving Victoria marks 70 years

1st December 2015 - Belgravia Leisure and Life Saving Victoria extend partnership agreement


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

REGUPOL

Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 

Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 25 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology

 
 

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

HQH FITNESS

HQH Fitness is an international company that specialises in improving the health, fitness and wellness of people everywhere. We are the South Pacific distributors for Total Gym/GRAVITY Education and…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Tim Batt Water Solutions

Tim Batt Water Solutions are at the very forefront of the commercial aquatic business in Australia, with over 30 years specific experience supplying and installing chemical control and dosing…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation / Technology / Venues

 
 

LINKS MODULAR SOLUTIONS

Links Modular Solutions are a leading provider of high-quality, innovative software solutions for leisure facilities. Our software suite includes modules such as POS, Classes, Members, Facility…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business