5 July 2021

Canberra man drowns trying to save his daughter on the South Coast

| Kim Treasure
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Surf Beach, Batemans Bay.

A man has lost his life at Surf Beach, Batemans Bay. Photo: Destination NSW.

A Canberra man has drowned trying to save his daughter from a rip at a popular Eurobodalla beach.

Witnesses say the man entered the water at Surf Beach shortly before 1:00 pm on Monday afternoon (5 July) after the nine-year-old got into difficulty.

While other members of the public were able to save the girl, her father found himself in trouble and emergency services were called in.

All South Coast beaches are unpatrolled at this time of year.

Far South Coast SLSC director Cheryl McCarthy said a jet ski and rubber duckie were on their way to Surf Beach but given the critical nature of the rescue two volunteers swam out to the drowning man, one on a surf ski.

They began CPR in the water before transferring the 48-year-old to a Marine Rescue vessel where CPR continued until they returned to the beach and handed him over to paramedics.

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NSW Ambulance paramedics performed CPR on the unresponsive man; however, he died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified.

The girl was taken to Batemans Bay Hospital in a stable condition.

Officers from South Coast Police District attended and will prepare a report for the information of the Coroner.

Surf Beach is usually a relatively safe stretch of water on the South Coast, but north-east swells have created more difficult conditions.

“The swells are moving a lot of water around,” Ms McCarthy said. “It can look calm but people can get into trouble quite quickly.”

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