Three men drown after separate incidents at NSW swimming spots

Mel Buttigieg

Three men have drowned after separate incidents at popular swimming spots across New South Wales on Friday.

The a 27-year-old Pakistani national who was studying commerce in Australia, came to Mermaid Pools at Rockford Road at Tahmoor, south of Sydney, with a group of close friends, but only three could swim.

Friends bravely attempted to revive the young man with CPR for more than 90 minutes when he passed out after jumping more than 20 metres from a cliff into the waterhole.

The rescue operation. Source: 7 News
A man has fallen down a cliff near a waterhole south of Sydney. Source: 7 News

Emergency services were called about 12.30pm after reports an unresponsive man had been dragged from the water.

Despite the best efforts of his friends and paramedics, he never regained consciousness.

An ambulance chopper was poised to winch the swimmer aboard and speed him to hospital, but it was not required.

Paramedics had to be winched down to the man who had suffered a cardiac arrest, but he could not be revived. Picture: 7 News

This tragedy was the third time this week emergency services were called to the seemingly idyllic pool, for injuries and near-drownings.

"We have had incidents in the last couple of weeks where we've had to extricate people from the area," paramedic Gavin Wood told 7 News.

The desperate attempts at Tahmoor were matched on the beach at Brighton-Le-Sands Friday afternoon, where a 70-year-old swimmer stopped breathing.

The man was transported to the St George Hospital in a critical condition but later died.

An ambulance chopper was poised to winch the swimmer aboard at Tahmoor and speed him to hospital, but it was not required. Picture: 7 News

At Kolora Lake Reserve, Yamba, on the far north coast, another man, aged 46, was pulled lifeless from the water about 2pm.

Further south, a body was discovered, believed to belong to a 42-year-old Victorian man who went missing while swimming at Wagga Wagga on Wednesday.

He got into trouble at about while swimming in the Murrumbidgee River and police suspected the man may have been dragged down by denim three-quarter-length pants.

Friday morning, an agonising wait for the family of 14-year-old Tui Gallaher came to an end at Sydney's crowded Maroubra beach, where a body believed to be the teenager's was recovered by emergency services.

Police approach the area on Maroubra beach where a body was found, believed to be 14-year-old Tui Gallaher who went missing on Thursday. Source: 7 News

Tui went missing while swimming with his cousin about 8.30pm on Thursday.

Since Christmas, there have been 14 reported drownings across NSW.


NSW water deaths since Christmas Day:

December 30:

  • A 70-year-old man died in hospital after he stopped breathing at Brighton-Le-Sands.
  • A body, believed to belong to a 42-year-old man who went missing while swimming on Wednesday, discovered at Wagga Wagga.
  • A 46-year-old man dies in suspected drowning while swimming at Yamba on NSW north coast.
  • A body, believed to be 14-year-old boy missing for three days, found at Sydney's Maroubra beach.
  • A Pakistani man, 27, dies after being pulled from waterhole at Mermaid Pools in Sydney's south.

December 29:

  • A two-year-old boy dies in hospital one week after he and twin sister were pulled unconscious from a backyard swimming pool. His sister earlier died.
  • The body of a man, believed to be aged between 65 and 75, discovered at Byron Bay on state's north coast.

December 27:

  • A man's body found in swimming baths at The Entrance on NSW Central Coast after he suffered suspected heart attack.
  • A 25-year-old man's body recovered from the water at Greendale in western Sydney after he went missing while swimming with friends on Boxing Day.

December 26:

  • Geoffrey Blackadder, 60, died trying to rescue young relatives from rip at Wooli Beach on the NSW north coast
  • A man, 56, drowns at Merry Beach at Kioloa on NSW south coast.
  • A 27-year-old man dies at Kangaroo Valley in NSW Shoalhaven region during a Boxing Day swim at a picnic ground.

December 25:

  • A 27-year-old man died in the Wattamolla lagoon at Royal National Park, south of Sydney.