The swimmer who drowned after being caught in rough surf on the far NSW north coast has been identified as 22-year-old Ravneet Singh Gill.
Mr Singh, a student from India who was described friends as ‘golden hearted’, died after eight people were rescued when swept out to sea at Duranbah Beach on Christmas Day.
The group began drifting into deeper waters around 4pm on Monday, as two surf lifesavers and and surfers raced out to help bring them to shore.
Dean and Sean Harrington, who are known globally as stunt duo The Mad Hueys, were among those attempting to rescue the people and have lashed out at those who stood by and watched.
‘To all those surfers yesterday at D’bah who watched two lifeguards, me and my family save six people and one drowned, f*** you,’ the pair posted on Instagram.
‘If you see someone in trouble you help them.
‘Some poor family has lost a life because people were standing around watching and doing f*** all, it’s f***ing bulls**t.’
Mr Singh was found face down in the water when help reached him, and despite lifesavers describing it as a routing rescue, he was unable to be saved after 30 minutes of CPR.
He was described by friends as the best swimmer in the group, and was ‘very excited’ to take everyone to the ocean.
‘It was his plan to swim at the beach. Another friend said we’ll swim at the pool but he said we should go down to the beach,’ Mr Singh’s friend Sukhmander Dhaliwal told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
‘He was (looking forward) to Christmas too, to enjoy his holiday.’
The other seven men who needed to be rescued were taken to Tweed Heads Hospital but have since been released.
The Harrington twins took to social media after the incident distressed at the lack of concern from onlookers and also singled out a kite surfer who passed as the pair were trying to pull a man to shore.
‘And that kite boarder who nearly ran me over twice when I had an unconscious man in my arms you can get f***ed,’ they wrote.
Lifesavers worked tirelessly to pull all swimmers from the water and have been praised for their heroic efforts.
Surf Life Saving NSW said the incident was the 17th coastal drowning since July and the rising figure was concerning.
CEO Steven Pearce said lifeguards put in a heroic effort to save the man’s life.
‘This tragedy reinforces why we are so determined to ensure that our safety messages are heard and understood,’ he said in a statement.
The 22-year-old man who drowned is believed to be an Indian national, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
Two other swimmers were taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Source: The Daily Mail