A man has described the traumatic moment he watched his 12-year-old daughter and her friend be swept away in an ocean rip in Western Australia’s South West.
- The girls were swept about 100 metres offshore and close to a rock wall
- One was washed into the wall while the other and was pushed into rocks and broke her wrist
- Police, paramedics and members of the community played a vital role in helping the father and the girls
Jasmine Robinson and Lilly Hollands were surfing at a beach break near a boat ramp in Bunbury, south of Perth, on Sunday.
The waves were larger than usual due to rough weather conditions and it was not long before Evan Robinson realised the girls were in danger.
They were swept about 100 metres offshore and close to a rock wall owned by the Bunbury Port.
“Both of the girls believed that they were going to drown,” Mr Robinson said.
“I could hear them before I could get to them to come into shore, I could hear them screaming.”
‘An absolute gift’
Mr Robinson said he ran along the wall and found the safest spot to help bring them in.
“When I tried to get in a couple of times and got beat back by waves, I came to the realisation that I may have been able to swim out and get one of them, but the surf and the rocks were such that there was a good chance that I may not have got both of them,” he said.
The girls were swept into the wall, where Jasmine managed to climb out and Lilly was pushed into rocks and broke her wrist.
Jasmine injured her elbow and both girls received cuts and bruises from the ordeal.
“Lilly was very traumatised — all I could do for her was hold her tight and tell her that she was safe,” Mr Robinson said.
“To get them up onto the rocks, as injured as they were, it was a gift really, an absolute gift.”
Community comes together
Police, St John Ambulance and members of the community played a vital role in helping Mr Robinson and the girls.
Bunbury Police officer-in-charge Andy Carson commended everyone’s actions.
“It was pleasing to see so many people rush to provide assistance to the group and our police officers,” he said.
“While both girls were injured, the situation could have ended much worse and I urge anyone who is going swimming or undertaking other marine activities to take extra care.”
Mr Robinson said he could not thank the officers and members of the community enough.
“It was a real reminder that deep down, people want to help and people will help if they can — it was an amazing experience and much of a relief,” he said.