News State NSW News Toddler pulled from backyard pond, judge also dead as NSW drowning toll hits 15
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Toddler pulled from backyard pond, judge also dead as NSW drowning toll hits 15

Justice Richard GEe drowns in backyard pool
Justice Richard Gee was targeted by the 1984 bombing. Photo: Supplied.
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UPDATE 10.30am

A man believed to be Richard Gee, the former judge who survived the bombing of his Sydney home more than 30 years ago, has died after being pulled unconscious from a backyard swimming pool on the northern beaches.

The man was found unconscious in the pool on Neridah Avenue in Belrose about 10pm Monday night.

Paramedics were called to the home but the 83-year-old died at the scene.

Authorities have not said whether he drowned or died from another cause.

Neighbours told the ABC the man was the retired Federal Family Court judge.

Justice Gee and members of his family survived a bomb attack at their home in Belrose in 1984.

He and his family escaped but the house was destroyed and later rebuilt.

UPDATE 5.45am 

An 83-year-old man has died after being found unconscious in a backyard pool in Sydney’s northeast overnight, adding to what is a horrendous drowning toll in New South Wales.

NSW Ambulance paramedics were called to a home in Belrose at about 10pm on Monday but the man died at the scene.

Police are investigating and will prepare a report for the coroner.

EARLIER

Police are at a home at Fairfield West where a two-year-old boy was pulled unresponsive from a fishpond.
Police are at a home at Fairfield West where a two-year-old boy was pulled unresponsive from a fishpond.

A two-year-old boy has been pulled from a backyard pond at Fairfield in Sydney’s south-west.

A neighbour and the boy’s uncle performed CPR until police and paramedics arrived.

The ambulance service said the toddler was taken by a rescue helicopter to hospital in a critical condition.

Neighbour Ramsay Vong, who helped perform CPR on the boy, said it was an incredibly distressing scene.

“His mother was crying, his grandma was crying, screaming for help, and his dad was just running around like crazy. He couldn’t do anything, only me and his uncle,” he said.

Meanwhile, a two-year-old girl died in hospital after being found unconscious in a pool in Sydney’s south-west on New Year’s Day.

Police said the toddler was found in the backyard pool of a Macquarie Fields home on Sunday evening.

The girl was taken to Liverpool Hospital where she later died, paramedics said.

Officers said the death was a tragic accident and the pool met all fencing requirements.

Earlier on Monday, a body has been recovered in the search for a man who disappeared while swimming in a lake in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains region.

Emergency services were called to Lake Eucumbene on Sunday following reports the 44-year-old Cooma man went missing while swimming with his family.

A search involving police, a rescue helicopter, paramedics and the State Emergency Service was suspended due to poor light and resumed on Monday morning.

Police divers were searching the water around where he was last spotted and a rescue chopper swept the lake on Monday morning.

NSW Christmas drowning toll at 15

The life saver rescue chopper is being used in the search for a man at Lake Eucumbene.
The life saver rescue chopper is being used in the search for a man at Lake Eucumbene. Photo: ABC

Fifteen people have drowned, or died after drowning-related incidents, in New South Wales since Christmas Day.

Twin toddlers, Robbie and Charli Manago, died in hospital the week after being found in a backyard pool in Kellyville Ridge.

Tui Gallaher, 14, was the only other child to have died in the water.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Brett from Macquarie Fields police said all the incidents showed just how quickly things can go wrong around water.

“Please, parents, be vigilant with your children.

“There are a lot of people meeting for the first time in a long time, and it is very easy to become distracted with lots of people around, but be particularly vigilant with regards to young children.”

All of the 12 adults who died were men.

“It’s been an exceptionally hot start to summer, it’s certainly hotter than this time last year,” Liam Howitt from Surf Life Saving NSW said.

“Obviously it’s the festive season as well, so people do things like having a drink to celebrate during that time as well, and that can potentially cause people to make bad decisions around the water.”

However, NSW Police said two deaths that were earlier thought to be drownings, at The Entrance and Brighton Le Sands, were now believed to have been caused by heart attacks.