A man aged in his 40s has died while surfing on Sydney’s northern beaches on Monday afternoon, after an off-duty lifeguard pulled him from the water and rendered CPR.
NSW Police said the 44-year-old man was pulled from the water at Collaroy Beach at 12.45pm by a witness.
Once the unconscious surfer was pulled from the water, the witness performed CPR until emergency services arrived at the scene.
The surfer was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital where he later died, police said.
According to Surf Life Saving NSW (SLS NSW), a 12-year-old Nipper witnessed the ordeal while observing the rough surf from the sand.
Sam Chaffer saw the unidentified surfer struggling to control his board. According to SLS NSW, the boy assumed the surfer was inexperienced and decided to keep an eye on him.
Sam alerted his mother, Carol Chaffer, who is a surf lifesaver from Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club.
When the surfer was spotted again, he went under the waves near a submerged stormwater pipe.
While off-duty ay the time, Ms Chaffer grabbed a rescue tube and handed it to a member of the public who was looking for the surfer along the pipe.
“After almost two minutes he popped up to the left of the stormwater pipe. But he was still connected to his surfboard by the leg rope,” Ms Chaffer recalled.
Ms Chaffer said two members of the public removed the leg rope attached to the surfer and swam him back to shore
“We put him in the recovery position and spent a lot of time clearing his airway because he’d obviously swallowed a lot of water and was foaming at the mouth,” Ms Chaffer said.
“We began CPR but we had to clear his airway regularly – because he had ingested so much water. I completed about five rounds of compressions before I had to hand over to someone else.”
Police attached to the Northern Beaches Police Area Command attended the scene and commenced inquiries.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.