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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Hunter Surf Lifesaving issues safety message following horror day

With the weather warming up, many families headed to find some relief by the water yesterday.

What should have been an enjoyable time across the state, turned to tragedy, with three separate deaths.

The body of a teenage boy was recovered from a waterhole on the Mid North Coast late yesterday.

The 14-year-old fell off Potoroo Falls in Dingo Forest near Taree shortly before 3pm.

On the same day, parents of a seven-year-old boy called emergency services to Jellybean Pool in the Blue Mountains National Park at Glenbrook, reporting the child had been missing for almost 30 minutes.

He was pulled from the water by family members and CPR was initiated by officers from Blue Mountains Police Area Command.

He died on arrival at Nepean Hospital.

And the body of a 65-year-old man was also found in the Murray River near the Mildura wharf.

Hunter Surf Lifesaving Branch President Henry Scruton said was an horrific start to the warmer weather.

“Always keep an eye on kids and, if they can’t swim, be right beside them,” he said.

For those who can swim, supervision is also mandatory, with the surf lifesaving stalwart saying swimming in a pool is extremely different to conditions faced at the beach or a river.

“When swimming in a pool, children can get to the edge, however, in the ocean there’s waves and in a river there’s undercurrents and twigs that can distract them, they can become really disorientated,” he said.

“They’re (children) so precious, never take your eyes off them.”

Regardless of your age, when swimming at the beach Mr Scruton says the rule of swimming between the flags can’t be underestimated, while it’s always good to swim with a friend.

“It’s also important to notify someone of where you are going and when you are expecting to be back,” he said.

“One of the biggest lessons is, if you get into trouble, don’t panic.

“It’s easy to say, but hard to control, but the less you panic the less trouble you will be in, just don’t use all your energy to swim against the current.”

And a tip for parents – learn CPR.

“They’re usually the first on scene at a rescue, and it doesn’t take long to learn CPR,” Mr Scruton said.

“Nearly all surf clubs will show you how to do it for free on a weekend.”

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