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Man drowns in Port Stephens


A notorious stretch of coast at Port Stephens has claimed another drowning victim, the third fatality in nine weeks for the region.

About 6.32pm on Saturday 16 December, the Surf Life Saving NSW (SLS NSW) State Operations Centre was notified of an incident unfolding at Birubi Beach in Anna Bay.

Tragically, a man, described as being middle-aged, had been pulled from the water unconscious and not breathing.

While the beach was not patrolled at the time, several volunteers were still on site at the club.

The off-duty lifesavers delivered several rounds of CPR and applied a defibrillator before NSW Ambulance and NSW Police arrived on scene.

However, the man was declared dead a short time later.

The drowning follows similar incidents at Boat Harbour, not far from Birubi, and Stockton in October and November respectively. 

SLS NSW Hunter duty officer Glen Dunkley reiterated a familiar message.

“We encourage beachgoers to only swim when they see the red and yellow flags,” he said.

“We just worry it’s going to get worse as it gets busy up here.

“It’s important that people heading to the beach take their safety into consideration and make sure they visit a patrolled location during the times that the flags are up.”

Beach safety tips

  • 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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