Hyderabad: A tragic incident took place in Australia’s Moonee beach on Monday, as two Indian nationals died and another is still missing after they drowned.
All the three victims belonged to the same family; they were residents of Telangana.
The accident occurred after the trio jumped into the water to rescue their family’s drowning children but were caught in the currents. The children were saved by a rescue team and taken to the hospital.
Nazreen, sister of Junaid who is still missing, told ANI, “My brother Mohammed Abdul Junaid, 28, was staying in Sydney since 2014. Yesterday, Junaid along with his father-in-law Mohammed Ghouse Uddin, his two daughters Easha, 17, Ramsha, 12, a son Mohammed Aaqib, 15, and his cousin Rahat went to Moonee beach near Coffs Harbour for a holiday.”
“Three children were playing near the seashore when they got troubled in the waves. On seeing this Junaid, along with his father-in-law Ghouse Uddin and cousin Rahat sprung into the water to save the children. All of them were facing difficulty in the water and were drowning when a rescue team reached the spot and saved the three children.”
The children Easha, Mohammed Aaqib and Ramsha are currently undergoing treatment in Coffs Harbour hospital. The teams were also able to rescue Ghouse and Rahat from the sea but were unable to revive them. But, Junaid could not be found.
The search operation for him had started on Tuesday but was stopped due to low light, the operation resumed on Wednesday morning.
An eyewitness told abc news that locals pitched in to help search for the missing man, while others assisted with CPR.
Coffs Coast Lifeguard Greg Hackfath, who was assisting with the rescue operation, said extensive rainfall had almost certainly contributed to the strong waves. He said strong winds had also caused the coastal waves to swell. He said Moonee Beach was difficult to access and was a problem spot due to the creek and river mouths causing rapid torrents.
Inspector Brendan Gorman from Coffs Harbour Police told abc.net.au that rescuers and volunteers conducted “some really brave actions”, and that police would be recommending bravery awards for some involved in the rescue.
Surf Lifesaving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said the tragedy highlighted the importance of swimming at patrolled beaches and understanding how to identify rips. “Our thoughts and hearts go out to the family of the victims and to the brave lifeguards that responded and tried valiantly to save everyone,” Pearce told the media.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter has dropped a dye pack to determine the direction of the current and tide to determine the likely location of the missing man.
(With inputs from Agencies)