4pm: A man has died after being pulled unconscious from the water at Stanwell Park beach.
The 24-year-old was swimming with two friends at the northern end of beach – more than 500 metres from a patrolled area – when he got into difficulty about 1.30pm on Monday.
Surf Life Saving Illawarra duty officer Anthony Turner said the man, understood to be an Indian national, was spotted floating face-down in the surf.
A number of surfers managed to pull the unconscious swimmer onto their boards and attempted to administer CPR, Mr Turner said.
An inflatable rescue boat (IRB) – with volunteer lifesavers from the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park surf club on board – was dispatched and travelled about 800 metres to reach the scene.
The lifesavers pulled the stricken swimmer into the boat and continued CPR.
The resuscitation efforts continued on the beach, where lifesavers were assisted by an off-duty doctor.
However, the man couldn’t be revived.
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said the incident was a difficult and challenging situation for all involved.
“Everyone from the surfers, who had the presence of mind to notice the swimmer’s difficulties and get him out of the water, through to our wonderful volunteers and emergency responders, reacted in a professional and compassionate manner,” Mr Pearce said.
Conditions on the beach at the time were described as “relatively calm”.
The death came on the opening weekend of the 2018/19 patrol season.
Mr Turner said the tragedy highlighted the importance of always swimming at patrolled locations, between the red and yellow flags.
Officers from Wollongong police will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
2.25pm: Lifesavers and paramedics are working to save a man who was pulled unconscious from the water at Stanwell Park beach on Monday afternoon.
Emergency services – including four NSW Ambulance units and a rescue helicopter – were called to the beach about 1.40pm.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said bystanders raised the alarm after a person was seen floating in the water at the northern end of the beach.
The spokesman said three or four people swam out to the man, who had been face down in the water for some time and was swept out to sea.
The man, believed to be aged in his mid-20s, had no pulse and was not breathing. CPR was in progress as at 2.20pm.
More to come.