An off-duty NSW police officer has drowned after rushing to save a teenage boy caught in a rip in unpatrolled waters on New Year’s Day.
The 45-year-old was at Bogola Beach, south of Narooma, on Sunday afternoon when he saw the 14-year-old struggling to swim. He went into the water and successfully rescued the teen before getting caught in the rip himself, NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia.
It’s believed the boy was the man’s son and the family had been holidaying in the area, 7News reports.
The 45-year-old, who has been identified as a serving NSW police officer, was pulled unconscious from the water. Paramedics performed CPR but he died at the scene. An investigation is underway and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
Previous reports claimed the tragedy occurred as the man was trying to rescue two boys, aged 12 and 15, at nearby Handkerchief Beach, according to the ABC.
“Heroically, he was able to assist the two boys out of danger, out of the rip, but he himself remained in the rip and submerged in front of witnesses,” Chief Executive Officer of Surf Life Saving NSW Steven Pearce told the public broadcaster.
Mr Pearce also urged people to be careful as they flock to beaches, lakes and pools for reprieve from the hot weather.
“Today is, again, going to be an extremely busy day with these hot temperatures,” he said. “We’re pleading with everyone to ensure that, if you are going up and down the coastline today, please find a patrolled location.”
On Wednesday, Surf Life Saving NSW said there had been almost 800 rescues on beaches across the state over the “last few days”, highlighting “how vital our volunteers are”.
Missing swimmer's body found
The body of a 34-year-old man who went missing while swimming in Lake Eildon, northeast of Melbourne, on New Year’s Day, has been found, Victoria Police said on Monday.
The man was celebrating with friends near the Jerusalem Creek Track at around 4.30pm when he “appeared to get into difficulty and disappeared underwater”.
Friends raised the alarm when he failed to resurface and local police, the Air Wing, Water Police and other emergency services scoured the lake and foreshore well into the night.
Weather conditions forced them to temporarily suspend the search overnight but police remained at the scene. A report will be prepared for the coroner.
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