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Another drowning tragedy near Port Stephens


The Hunter has been rocked by its fourth drowning at a local beach in the past 10 weeks.

Just after 2.40pm on Wednesday 27 December, emergency services were called to Stockton Beach, following reports four people had been pulled from the water.

It’s understood the quartet got into trouble on an unpatrolled stretch, approximately 3km south of the Birubi Point SLSC.

Bystanders tried to assist a 33-year-old male with CPR, however he could not be revived and died at the scene.

Lifeguards on duty at Birubi travelled several kilometres to attend, too, along with a Hunter Branch duty officer.

“Sadly, the recent drowning at Birubi Beach on 16 December was fresh in the minds of lifesavers who provided CPR after hours and was off the back of incidents at Boat Harbour and Stockton in October and November,” a Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson said.

“In the wake of [today’s] tragedy, additional assets from Sydney will arrive on Thursday.

“They’ll assist local volunteers and relieve duty officers who are already conducting additional dusk patrols in response to the recent incidents in the area.”

Meanwhile, the other three people pulled from the water required first aid.

A woman was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.

A second man, after receiving assistance from paramedics, was transported to the same hospital.

He’s in a stable condition.

A third male did not require any further medical help.

Officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District have started an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

A report will be prepared for the information of Coroner.

Surf Life Saving NSW is also asking holidaymakers along the coastline to be extremely wary of swimming at unpatrolled locations, as beach numbers grow during the holiday period this week.


  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero
  • For information about patrol times, weather, and beach locations visit the Beachsafe Website or Download the App

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