Coolum family’s swim ends in tragic drowning
A FAMILY has been ripped apart after an afternoon swim on an unpatrolled stretch of beach ended in tragedy.
A 34-year-old man drowned in messy conditions about 1.5km north of Marcoola at about 5pm yesterday.
TRAGIC INCIDENT: HOW EVENTS UNFOLDED
Emergency services were alerted that a man and a woman were struggling in the surf off Boardrider Cres at Mt Coolum shortly after 4pm.
Members of the public reportedly sprang into action before the arrival of paramedics and lifeguards and pulled a 32-year-old woman from the surf.
She joined her daughters, aged four and seven, as lifeguards began searching for the 34-year-old.
The man was found floating about 100m offshore. He was raced to shore on a jet ski, where waiting paramedics began performing CPR.
Despite their efforts, the man was not responsive after more than half an hour of CPR.
Coolum Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Hardy Wirth confirmed the family was from Coolum.
He said the woman and two children were taken to Nambour General Hospital for further treatment.
"She's obviously quite traumatised by the event," Snr Sgt Wirth said.
One onlooker said rescuers had risked their lives trying to help the family.
"It's a tragedy," the Coolum retailer said.
Amos Weith, an unassuming hero, saved the woman's life after seeing her in distress while walking his dog.
"She was about 150 metres out the back of the sets and I got to her and told her to keep calm," he said.
"I got an arm around her and told her to kick like a frog but she didn't have much left."
Then he headed back out with lifeguards to search for the man.