A GROUP comforts each other on the beach at north Kingscliff where a man drowned yesterday.
A GROUP comforts each other on the beach at north Kingscliff where a man drowned yesterday.

SURF TRAGEDY

By NADINE FISHER

TREACHEROUS surf conditions claimed another life on the Tweed Coast when a 42-year-old male tourist drowned at north Kingscliff beach yesterday morning.

Despite desperate efforts by Kingscliff residents, police and ambulance officers, the visitor lost his life while enroute to Tweed Hospital in an ambulance.

The man is the sixth person in the past three years to lose his life in the surf on the North Coast, prompting a top lifesaver to question why appropriate warning signs do not exist on Tweed Coast beaches.

Tweed police said the man went swimming at 6.45am and it is believed he encountered trouble around 8am.

A local man, who did not wish to be identified, said he was walking along Kingscliff beach yesterday morning when he noticed someone lying in shallow surf, not moving.

"We pulled him up the beach as far as we could and started CPR while the alarm was raised," he said. "We got a lot of water out of him and I thought he might have a chance, as his colour was not too bad.

''When the police and ambulance officers took over I thought they might save him.

"We've pulled a few blokes out of the surf here now."

Kingscliff ambulance officers arrived on the scene and treated the man before transporting him to The Tweed hospital, but Tweed-Byron LAC Inspector Ross Wilkinson said he did not respond to resuscitation.

The man's death follows the drowning of a 41-year-old male on Tuesday evening at Byron Bay.

Australian Lifeguard Services Far North Coast supervisor Peter Baird said the conditions yesterday morning at north Kingscliff beach were calm with a few rips and a half-metre swell.

He said it is frustrating that the Tweed council would not erect signs on beaches warning of the dangers, but also that the two tragedies highlighted the importance of only swimming at patrolled beaches.

"If people choose to swim at unpatrolled areas they are putting themselves at an unnecessary risk. Even when conditions look relatively calm there can be rips," he said.



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