Police bust beach party after photos of huge crowds emerge

Kamilia Palu
·News Editor
·2-min read

Police have shut down an Australia Day beach party in Sydney’s south over social distancing concerns.

NSW Police attended the scene at a sandbar in Lilli Pilli, in the Sutherland Shire, where dozens of revellers gathered on the sand and on boats.

“They were drinking alcohol and gathering too closely together,” a NSW police spokesman told 7News.

After being instructed to move along by police, the group dispersed without issue and no fines were handed out.

Dozens of people gather on a sandbar in Lilli Pilli to celebrate Australia Day, before the party was shut down by police.
Dozens of revellers gathered on a sandbar in Lilli Pilli, before police shut down the party. Source: 9News

NSW lifesavers rescue 194 people on Australia Day

The partygoers were among thousands who flocked to the beach to celebrate the public holiday, creating a busy day for lifeguards.

Surf lifesavers pulled off 194 rescues and responded to 53 emergency incidents on a day Surf Life Saving NSW had warned would be one of the most challenging days of the year.

The hot weather, big swells and the Australia Day public holiday drew large crowds to Sydney's beaches.

"This provides almost a perfect cocktail for dangerous conditions where drownings are likely to occur," Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman Matt Spooner told reporters on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people swim and sunbake at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
Many of Sydney's beaches, like Bondi Beach (pictured), were packed with residents eager to beat the heat on Australia Day - creating a busy day for lifesavers. Source: AAP

Seven people have drowned in NSW in the past eight days.

A 16-year-old boy died on Tuesday after being pulled unresponsive from the Hawkesbury River at Sackville on Monday afternoon.

On Monday a snorkeller died after being pulled from the water at Narrabeen on Sydney's northern beaches, while emergency services will resume their search for another man who disappeared while snorkelling near Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast on Wednesday.

A teenager is in hospital after he was pulled from the water unconscious at Athol Beach in Sydney's north. He regained consciousness after bystanders performed CPR, NSW Ambulance says.

- with AAP

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