Two boys die in separate freshwater swimming accidents


A medical team was winched to the scene by helicopter before the boy was taken to Nepean Hospital by road.

NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Peter van Praag said paramedics worked tirelessly to treat the child before he was taken to hospital but he didn’t survive.

NSW Ambulance paramedics at the scene of the tragedy on Sunday. Credit:Nine News

“These sorts of jobs have a significant impact on all the emergency services involved, but none more so than the family, and our hearts go out them,” Inspector van Praag said.

“It is just so sad.”

He said it was a tragic reminder for people to take care near the water as the weather warmed.

“Nobody intends for these tragedies to happen, but that’s the thing about accidents – they happen in seconds – but the impact can remain for a lifetime,” he said.

COVID warnings as people hit the beaches

The emergency comes as people flocked to the state’s beaches and watering holes to enjoy the weekend’s fine conditions. NSW Health called upon the community to maintain vigilance and avoid crowds despite a run of eight days without COVID-19 transmission.

Coogee Beach in the eastern suburbs saw a sea of sunbathers, with others submerging themselves in the rock pool to cool off, as continued physical distancing, hand hygiene and testing is still encouraged.

Swimmers cooling off in the Coogee Beach rock pool during a spell of fine weather in Sydney.

Swimmers cooling off in the Coogee Beach rock pool during a spell of fine weather in Sydney.Credit:James Alcock

“Though there have been no locally acquired cases in NSW in recent days, now is not the time to drop our guard,” a NSW Health spokesperson said.

While the majority of the state experienced sunny weather and clear skies on Sunday, the high temperatures are expected to escalate on Monday, climbing up to 34 degrees in Sydney, 34.5 in Mascot, 39 in Parramatta and 41.5 in Penrith, the highest expected reading this season.

Weather bureau meteorologist Bimal KC said the hot, dry conditions were moving in ahead of a southerly cold front bringing “fresh and gusty winds”.

“We’re expecting shower and thunderstorm activity with the front,” Mr KC said, adding the forecast rainfall was expected to be just a few millimetres.

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He said the change would bring minimum overnight temperatures to about 18 degrees in the Sydney basin ahead of milder temperatures and showers along the eastern part of the state, with the mercury staying in the low 20s during the middle of the week before climbing to 31 in Sydney on Friday.

Damaging winds were forecast for the state’s alpine region on Sunday night, with wind speeds reaching up to 120 km/h above 900 metres.

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Four aged in their 20s killed in horrific crash on Nerang-Murwillumbah Road road ‘known’ for accidents


Police have identified four young people who died in a two-vehicle crash on a major hinterland road on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The group was travelling in a sedan on the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road at Advancetown early on Saturday afternoon.

Police said it appeared the car lost control on a bend and slid into the path of an oncoming ute.

All four died at the scene.

Police said they were a 22-year-old woman from Brisbane, a 20-year-old woman from Emerald, and a 20-year-old man and 21-year-old woman, both from Townsville.

The ABC understands the four young people who died were Lochlan Parker, Katrina McKeough, Courtney Smith and Kirsten Van Gorp.

The driver of the ute, a 31-year-old man, survived with minor injuries.

Courtney Smith, Katrina McKeough, Kirsten Van Gorp and Lochlan Parker.(Facebook)

Emergency crews described the scene as horrific and said the road was “known” for crashes.

Gold Coast City councillor Glenn Tozer said the hinterland community was in shock.

“It’s a tragic circumstance we’ve had to face as a community out this way,” he said.

“I think for many years now, it has been identified that the road is due for some significant safety upgrades, particularly in the wet, rainy weather.”

Cr Tozer said more than $30 million had recently been allocated for an upgrade to Nerang-Murwillumbah Road.

“It’s just terribly sad that this tragedy has occurred before that funding could materialise into the construction of safety improvement,” Cr Tozer said.

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Paramedics found four people in traumatic cardiac arrest and one with minor injuries.

‘Terrible time of loss and grief’

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the deaths of the four young people were terrible.

“There are families that are suffering today as a result of the loss of the lives of four young Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.

“It’s a terrible, terrible incident and I express my sympathies to the families, as everyone here does today, going through a terrible time of loss and grief.”

Mr Dick said the added tragedy of the death of an international tourist on Fraser Island was a “reminder for all of us to stay safe on the roads”.

“These are really troubling times and difficult times for Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.

“Any loss of life is a tragedy, particularly at a difficult time like this when we’re all struggling in our own ways to fight back against COVID, so all of these losses are very significant.”

Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said her thoughts were also with the first responders at the scene.

“We’ve heard that it was the most horrific case that one of the first responders has ever been to,” Ms Frecklington said.

“When you’ve heard that four young lives have been lost on that notorious stretch of road, enough is enough.”



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