A young woman who was pulled from the ocean at a popular Aussie beach on Sunday has been identified as Brisbane resident Lucinda McGrath who died just hours before her 28th birthday.
Ms McGrath drowned at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend. Bystanders reportedly pulled her unconscious body from the water before administering CPR. Lifesavers and paramedics were unable to revive her on the sand and she was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.
Amid a spate of drownings this summer, Surf Life Saving Queensland regional manager Aaron Purchase called the young woman's death "another tragic event," adding that it occurred outside the patrolled areas as authorities urge swimmers to stay between the flags.
"We understand the lady was going for a swim with a friend who'd come out of the water and short time later other members of the public noticed her floating unresponsive," Mr Purchase told the ABC.
The victim's mother Lynelle McGrath told The Courier Mail she was in "absolute shock" over her daughter's death while a cousin told the publication she couldn't believe the "adventurous" and "beach loving" woman had drowned.
Friends also took to social media to mourn the shock death. "Rest in Peace Lucy. Thank you for providing me with your free spirited vibes throughout high school," one person wrote.
According to the Royal Life Saving Society Australia, at least 44 people have drowned this summer (since December 1) with men aged between 18 and 64 accounting for a majority of victims.
Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Officer Justin Scarr last week pleaded with Australians to exercise caution around the water, even if they are familiar and confident with the environment.
"Sadly, we’ve seen a number of people drowning when attempting to rescue family members, and when swimming alone," he said.
"The leading activities at the time have been swimming, boating and kayaking. These deaths have occurred at both inland and coastal locations."
On Tuesday morning another drowning death was registered as an elderly man was pulled unconscious from the water in Sydney's northern beaches.
Emergency services rushed to Curl Curl beach after a man was pulled from the water just after 7.30am this morning. Paramedics attempted to revive the man, however he died at the scene, NSW Police said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.