Surfer saves multiple people from drowning in two separate rescues
A surfer has rescued three children and a father from drowning in two separate incidents less than 24 hours apart off the Victorian coast.
A surfer has saved the lives of three children and a father from drowing in two separate incidents in Victoria.
Ben Roberts rescued the two different families almost 24 hours apart off Barwon Heads when happened to be passing by at Thirteenth Beach.
Today, Mr Roberts noticed a man and his son struggling in hot, difficult conditions.
"There was a son and a dad, they were pretty groggy ... swallowed a lot of water, in and out consciousness," he said.
Mr Roberts was about to enter the surf to go body boarding when he heard screaming.
"People from the top started yelling and we could see they were in another little rip and so we just ran out."
Yesterday with the help of Mr Roberts, two teenage siblings fortunately managed to escape the water safely.
The Echuca family were out past the rocks on Thirteenth Beach when they were sucked into a rip.
Mr Robert's was checking the surf at the exact same spot yesterday when he watched the family get sucked 150 metres into a rip.https://twitter.com/LifeSavingVic/status/1353217952137367553?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
"When I first arrived it happened so quickly ... it was less than a minute ... 5ft waves at the back and the daughter was waving," he said.
He and another surfer pulled two teenage siblings to the shore, but unfortunately their father died. He was pulled from the water by a Life Saving Victoria helicopter.
Witness Toby Lee said it was a devastating loss.
"Arriving to a scene like that is gut wrenching ... to see people in trouble in the ocean, no one wants to see it," Mr Lee said.
"I'm still in a bit of shock seeing what's happened ... I don't wish it to happen to anyone, very sad."
The drowning was sadly not the only one in Victoria yesterday with a man found in the water near Anglesea.
It is understood the 58-year-old was in a small boat with another man who rushed to shore to raise the alarm but he was unable to be revived.
Meanwhile, today several near drownings occurred with multiple rescues occurring at Separation Creek, Altona and St Andrews Beach.
Surf Life Saving Victoria has had to double its resources, now equipped with two helicopters on standby who get into trouble on unmanned beaches.
Scorching hot temperatures and the a public holiday on Tuesday have seen people flock to beaches all over with authorities imploring swimmers to be vigilant in the water.
"Our key message is you need to look after yourselves and each other because there are significant risks," Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.
"Since July 1 last year, we've had 42 people die as a result of drowning deaths ... if you look at the whole 12 months before that - 34 people died."
Seven people have died in Victorian waters in the last 10 days.