18 April 2022

UPDATED: Surf Beach drowning victim was Canberra woman

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Surf Beach, Batemans Bay.

A woman has lost her life at Surf Beach, Batemans Bay. Photo: Destination NSW.

UPDATED April 18, 9:30 am: NSW Police have confirmed this morning that the woman who drowned at Surf Beach on Easter Sunday was a Canberra resident.

“We can confirm that the 41-year-old woman who lost her life was from the ACT,” a NSW Police spokesperson told Region Media.

“We are unable to release any further details at this time.”

It’s understood that one other woman involved in the incident has been released from hospital in Batemans Bay. Two other men were being treated at the Moruya Hospital and Canberra Hospital.

The tragedy comes amid reports of heavy surf along the east coast over the popular Easter weekend holiday.

READ ALSO Monash man to face manslaughter charges after Melba woman dies

April 17: One woman is dead, a man has been airlifted to Canberra Hospital and several others have been hospitalised after a drowning incident at Surf Beach this afternoon.

Ten people were rescued by lifesavers and members of the public around 2 pm.

Emergency services and NSW Police were notified that a group of swimmers were in distress.

Eight ambulances and a rescue helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

A woman in her 40s was treated on the beach after going into cardiac arrest and was briefly stabilised. She was airlifted to Batemans Bay Hospital but pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

A woman and two men also required hospitalisation, one of whom was airlifted to Canberra Hospital.

There are unconfirmed reports that a group was washed off the rocks between Surf Beach and Wimbie Beach in what locals described as very rough surf conditions. It’s believed that the group were then caught in a rip.

NSW Police said in a statement that the beach was searched to ascertain if any other swimmers were in difficulties.

“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Surf Life Saving Australia Helicopter conducted an overhead search of the beaches to ensure no one else required assistance,” police said.

“Officers from South Coast Police District have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident and a report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.”

The scene was described as chaotic, with reports of people face down in the water and across the rocks. A number of those eventually rescued had been attempting to help the group themselves. Surf club members from Batemans Bay and Broulee also assisted in the rescue operation.

NSW Ambulance’s Inspector Faye Stockman praised members of the public who were able to assist paramedics in a complex and very difficult situation.

It was a reminder of the importance of first aid training and CPR, she said. “I praise those members of the public for doing everything they could under extremely challenging conditions.

“It’s truly heartbreaking to have lost a life here today, especially knowing this group of people was likely enjoying an extended break for the holiday weekend.”

Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher thanked surf lifesavers and members of the community who stepped in to help, describing the Easter Sunday incident as “an incredibly sad day”.

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russianafroman8:39 pm 17 Apr 22

Sounds like some people not aware of surf in Australia and just jumped in when one of their family members got caught in the rip.

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