News

Lack of rope on Angel ring complicated bid to rescue child

UPDATE 12.45pm:  IF the local Angel Ring had a rope attached it would have been even more useful for fisherman Kirk Trease who played a crucial role in the rescue attempt of a young boy who drowned at the South Wall in Ballina on the weekend.

The Angel Ring was used by Mr Trease to help get the boy's father out of the surf but when they found the boy, not having a rope for the ring slowed down the rescue he said.

"If it had the rope on it, it would have made our life that much easier," he said.

Another fisherman Mitch Lang had jumped into the surf to get to the young boy when Mr Trease got to them along the break wall, and tossed out the Angel Ring.

"What he [Mr Lang] didn't need was a floatie, what he needed was a way for us to drag him back in, without me entering the water," Mr Trease said.
 

One minute there will be nothing there and the next minute there will be four feet of water

- KIRK TREASE

"He used the Angel Ring for a brief moment but it was too much of a burden when we were trying to secure someone back to the wall," he said.

After the boy was pulled from the water the fisherman undertook resuscitation for up to half an hour before the first of the emergency services crew got to the scene.

It was a very "tragic" afternoon Mr Trease said.

Even at this early stage in the rescue, which culminated in the boy being airlifted to the Gold Coast University Hospital, "there were no signs of life," Mr Trease said.

Mr Trease didn't see the boy enter the water but had a fair idea what went wrong, after he saw the father and two boys beachcombing before the incident

"I can tell you how they would have got into trouble, the little fellah had a red jumper on, they would have been just too close when the wave came in," he said.

At that part of the beach, at the crux where it meets the break wall, the surf could be very unpredictable he said.

"One minute there will be nothing there and the next minute there will be four feet of water," he said.

"It was a tragic mistake."

Other people including the Sean Pauling and his brother, also played a crucial role in the rescue attempt of the boy as well, he said.

Mr Pauling was in contact with emergency services right from the beginning and coordinated everything, Mr Trease said.

INITIAL REPORT: A SIX-year-old boy drowned at Ballina's South Wall on Saturday afternoon despite the best efforts of a well-orchestrated rescue mission.

An Angel Ring was used in the rescue, but it did not have a rope attached, reducing its effectiveness, according to Garry Meredith, duty officer with Ballina surf life saving.

HOW THE TRAGEDY UNFOLDED

The Ballina Jet Boat Rescue was the first emergency crew to the scene and found the boy unconscious and unresponsive.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina Jet Boat at Ballina's South Wall where a child drowned after being swept into the ocean by a rogue wave on Saturday. Shared to The Northern Star's Facebook page by Saawan Raghoobar.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina Jet Boat at Ballina's South Wall where a child drowned after being swept into the ocean by a rogue wave on Saturday. Shared to The Northern Star's Facebook page by Saawan Raghoobar. Saawan Raghoobar

The boy had been pulled from the water by several local fishermen including Kirk Trease, who came to the rescue of the father and helped get the young boy out of the water.

Emergency services went into action just after 1pm.

Swell breaking over Southwall. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star
Swell breaking over Southwall. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star Nolan Verheij-Full

The boy and his brother were with their father on South Ballina Beach wading in the water in the shoulder of the break wall when a rogue wave, in already rough conditions, dragged the boy into trouble, Mr Meredith said.

The fishermen rescuers got the boy to the top of the break wall and then began CPR until ambulance officers arrived on the scene.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina Jet Boat at Ballina's South Wall where a child drowned after being swept into the ocean by a rogue wave on Saturday. Shared to The Northern Star's Facebook page by Saawan Raghoobar.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina Jet Boat at Ballina's South Wall where a child drowned after being swept into the ocean by a rogue wave on Saturday. Shared to The Northern Star's Facebook page by Saawan Raghoobar. Saawan Raghoobar

In a short time they were backed up by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The boy was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition; where he later died.

When the Ballina Jet Boat crew got to the scene two crewman, Mr Meredith and Alan Noble, had to be dropped into the water because it was too rough to dock the boat, captain Mark Puglisi said.

Rough seas and dirty water at south wall in Ballina. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star
Rough seas and dirty water at south wall in Ballina. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star Nolan Verheij-Full

It is understood the family was from Brisbane.

Mr Meredith said as far as he knew the child had no intention of swimming and was just wading in the shallows, Mr Meredith said.

"It was a tragic sad accident," he said.

BEACH TRAGEDY: The entrance sign to South Ballina Beach where a six-year-old boy perished in a drowning tragedy.
BEACH TRAGEDY: The entrance sign to South Ballina Beach where a six-year-old boy perished in a drowning tragedy. Nolan Verheij-Full

"Especially when you are dealing with someone this age," he said.

The drowning brought back memories of Joseph and Carole Sherry who died at the same beach in an attempt to save their boys in 2010.

How The Northern Star reported the Sherry family drownings in 2010.
How The Northern Star reported the Sherry family drownings in 2010.

Mr Meredith was part of that rescue attempt as well.

The Coroner's report into the Sherry drowning recommended new signs be put up with big warnings, alerting people to the dangers of swimming at the beach.

The Coroner’s report after the Sherry family drownings.
The Coroner’s report after the Sherry family drownings.

The area of South Ballina beach lies within the NSW National Parks and warning signs are now in place.

Mr Meredith said he would report to council the fact that the Angel Ring did not have a rope attached.

He couldn't say how critical to the rescue the Angel Ring had been to the operation.

Topics:  drowning editors picks rough seas south ballina beach



Better training, education for prisoners

Minister for Correction David Elliott at the Grafton Correctional Centre on a visit.

Minister for Corrections to roll out new education model

$100 million good reasons why Casino's the Beef Capital

Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange at Casino.

Record prices for beef have flowed through to local producers

Coding kits help re-float REDinc after flood

CEO of REDinc Marie Gale, former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Lisa Newman and CEO LinkSprite Gavin Sigley showing eSpace how to use their new coding kits.

Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman delivers some cheer

Local Partners

Wake up with a snag on Friday morning

There is half a tonne of beef served to the hungry crowds as they line the street by volunteers from the community, local businesses and sponsors.


First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

You can see him in Ballina this weekend

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!