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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Freaque waves blamed for swimmer's death

This week old (Updated Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:13am AEDT) news item from the Australia ABC News just came to my attention along with the above picture of Stanwell Park beach by their Carrie Soderberg :

New South Wales police say a series of freak waves caused a man to drown at a beach near Wollongong, south of Sydney, yesterday afternoon.

Around 50 people were swimming at Stanwell Park beach, north of Wollongong, when large waves swept dozens of people out to sea.

It sparked a frantic rescue by the three lifesavers on patrol.

Paramedics tried to revive a 63-year old man, who on holidays from Perth, but he died at the scene.

His daughter and another 15-year old girl were taken to hospital with breathing problems, while a 20-year old man suffered a heart attack and remains in a critical condition.

Chief police inspector Mark Lavers says everyone was swimming between the flags.

"These people did the right thing," he said.

"It's just unfortunate. It was a bit of a freak wave, or a number of waves, that seems to have caused the incident."

He says lifesavers initially thought a sandbank had collapsed.

"But a detective spoke to those surf lifesavers later in the evening, and they've spoken to me, and they said basically it was just all the water coming in at once and washing them out," he said.

It is always sad to see someone lost life, let's pray for the departed and his family. This is just about a typical tragedy that can happen along a beach area. There is really not much anyone can help when "all the water coming in at once and washing them out" as the Chief police inspector indicated. We need measurements and research, but no one is doing it!

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