News

Lifeguards urge safety on beaches as two men die

TWO beachgoers have died within hours of each other in separate swimming and surfing incidents at Broken Head and Yamba beaches.

Lismore surfer Ken McLean paddled out into the waves at Yamba's Turners Beach on Wednesday afternoon after a seafood lunch on his 54th birthday, while his partner and family members relaxed on the beach.

Clarence Valley lifeguard supervisor Greg Wyllie said he was surfing in one to two foot waves when he was presumably hit in the head by his board, and was found floating in the water by nearby boardriders about 3.50pm.

"He was surfing on his own within 20m of three other surfers and at some stage he caught a wave and fell off his board and the board hit him in the bridge of the nose," Mr Wyllie said.

"The three surfers and a lifeguard all responded in a synchronised manner to the man, who was face down in the water within two minutes, and brought him to shore unconscious."

His sister Rhonda Shone, who was on the beach at the time, said it all happened extremely quickly.

"I had just walked out of the surf and seen Ken on his board, and then I saw people running down there, and thought something big must have happened," she said.

"Then I saw it was him."

Despite the best efforts of the lifeguard on duty and two off-duty paramedics who attempted to resuscitate him using CPR and a defibrillator, Mr McLean could not be revived and was pronounced dead in the ambulance at 4.35pm.

Ms Shone said she and her brother had both grown up in the water, and that he was a keen "surfer, fisherman; anything to do with the water".

"The worst part about this is Ken's partner, her first husband drowned too," she said.

Mr McLean's death is the first confirmed drowning on a patrolled Clarence Valley beach in more than 18 years.

Only a short time later, about 5.30pm, an 81-year-old man believed to be an international visitor was found floating in the water at Seven Mile Beach, Broken Head.

Tweed/Byron LAC Acting Inspector Chad Deengenaars said the man visited the beach with family members before heading out for a swim by himself.

"His family became concerned when he had not returned, they began looking for him and he was noticed by members of the public," he said.

"(They) brought him on to land and commenced CPR and emergency services were called."

Unfortunately the man was unable to be revived and he died at the scene.

Australian Lifeguard Service coordinator Scott McCartney said the tragic outcomes were frustrating, particularly at Broken Head because lifeguards urged people to swim between the flags.

"Unfortunately the ocean is still an unforgiving place," he said.

Mr McCartney said even though the swell was small, the combination of strong winds and outgoing and incoming tides created rips that were difficult to see.

"That's where people get into trouble," he said.

Mr McCartney said the recent good weather may have prompted more people to return to the beach, after several days of rain and dangerous surf conditions.

He said the swell was expected to remain small today but it was due to pick up over the weekend.

Topics:  lifeguards surf life savers



LISTEN: Resident airs frustrations over parking debacle

Paid parking has pushed hospital commuters into suburbia, proving problematic for residents.

Parking pressures felt in suburbia of hospital precinct

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

NSW Sport comments on Lennox Head Ski Jump

An artist impression of the Ski jump facility at Lennox Head. The size of the structure has upset locals, but it may not be as big as it appears in the artist impression.

Lennox Head Ski Jump on its four week exhibition

Local Partners

Lismore City Council to demolish much-loved Lake Pool

LISMORE City councillors have backed down from spending $2.75 million to refurbish the Lismore Lake Pool, the scene of many happy childhood memories.


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!