Two men drowned at Belongil Beach, Byron Bay, yesterday afternoon. They had been swimming outside the flags with a friend, who was rescued, when they were caught in a rip
The two Indian nationals, aged 26 and 28, are believed to have been studying in Brisbane.
Shortly after 1pm, beachgoers alerted lifesavers that a person was in difficulty about 300m down the beach near the Wreck.
Lifesavers responded with a rescue boat, boards and tubes and were able to rescue one of the men. They found the other two men on the ocean floor – where it’s believed they had been for up to 10 minutes. They were immediately taken by rescue boat to the beach, where attempts were made to resuscitate them.
Paramedics rushed both patients to Byron District Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.
Surf Life Saving Duty Officer Jimmy Keough says its a tragic accident and highlights the danger of swimming at unpatrolled areas of beach. ‘A short walk to the patrolled area would have certainly prevented this tragic loss of life,’ says Keough.
‘Despite the tragic outcome, the volunteer life savers should be commended on an exceptional performance and effort – they saved one life and did everything they could to save the other two gentlemen,’ says Keough.
Investigations into the incident are being undertaken by local detectives, who will prepare a report for the coroner.