News National Paynesville tragedy becomes eighth drowning since Christmas Eve
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Paynesville tragedy becomes eighth drowning since Christmas Eve

Beachgoers are being urged to swim between the flags on patrolled beaches after two drownings on Tuesday. Photo: Getty
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A Bairnsdale man has become at least the eighth person to drown in Australia – and sixth in Victoria – since Christmas Eve in a swimming tragedy in regional Victoria on Tuesday.

The 45-year-old was with his family at Paynesville when he was seen having difficulty at 4.50pm.

He was pulled from the water but could not be resuscitated and he died at the scene.

WA police said on New Year’s Day it was too early to tell whether a diver pulled unconscious from the water and unable to be revived at Rockingham Beach, south of Fremantle, had drowned or otherwise.

The news comes after repeated warnings about water safety.

Swimmers are again being urged to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches after the death of two men in separate incidents on Tuesday.

A man in his 40s died after being pulled from the surf at a popular but unpatrolled swimming spot on Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island.

Paramedics were called to Frenchman’s Beach at Point Lookout just before 12.30pm where the man was in a critical condition.

Despite paramedics working on him for more than an hour, he could not be saved.

A Surf Life Saving Queensland spokeswoman said the man was “unresponsive” when pulled from the water and treated on site by volunteer surf lifesavers before paramedics arrived.

North Stradbroke Island was the scene of a drowning tragedy on Tuesday. Photo: Getty

The area between Frenchmans Beach and Point Lookout Headland was identified as a 2018-19 coastal blackspot.

“The incident serves as a timely reminder to always swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags,” the spokeswoman said.

Police are investigating and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Later on Tuesday, a 34-year-old man drowned at Sydney’s Clovelly Beach.

Emergency services were called about 2pm, with the patient pulled from the water unconscious and not breathing from the north side of the rocks, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.

Bystanders thought the man was snorkelling face down and it was only after he began hitting up against rocks they realised he may be in trouble.

A doctor already at the scene attempted to resuscitate him but he did not respond to CPR or the use of a defibrillator to restart his heart.

Police confirmed shortly after 3pm the man had died.

Local officers will prepare a report for the coroner.

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