Four Indians die in mass drowning at Australia's Philip Island

Victoria Police said that the victims were an extended family group - a man and two women in their 20s, and a woman in her 40s.
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia(Photo | Wikimedia Commons)

MELBOURNE: Four Indians, including two women, have been killed in a drowning incident at an unpatrolled beach in the Australian state of Victoria, the worst tragedy in Victorian waters in almost 20 years, officials said on Thursday.

The incident took place on Wednesday at Phillip Island, Victoria.

Emergency services responded to reports of four people struggling in the water near Newhaven about 3.30 pm on Wednesday and all were found unresponsive, news.com reported.

"Life Saving Victoria was called to assist four people in trouble in the waters off Forrest Caves on Phillip Island, only a couple of kilometres from our patrolled lifeguard site," Kane Treloar, the Life Saving Victoria state agency commander, said.

Upon arriving at the scene, our lifeguards found that off-duty lifeguards had pulled three of those people from the water and one of our rescue boats pulled that last person from the water.

All were unconscious and unresponsive and the rescuers started CPR.

The victims were not named by the authorities so far. "Despite the efforts of all involved, three of those people unfortunately passed away," Treloar said.

The Indian High Commission in Canberra on Thursday posted on X, the tragic drowning.

"Heartbreaking tragedy in Australia: 4 Indians lost their lives in a drowning incident at Phillip Island, Victoria. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims. @cgimelbourne team is in touch with friends of the deceased for all necessary assistance @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar," the High Commission posted.

On Thursday, Treloar said it was the worst drowning incident the state had seen in decades.

Victoria Police Eastern Region Assistant Commissioner, Karen Nyholm revealed on Thursday the victims were a man and two women in their 20s, and a woman in her 40s. "It was an extended family group that came down here," she said.

Nyholm said a 43-year-old woman who died was holidaying in Australia, and police have confirmed the other three victims lived in the Melbourne suburb of Clyde.

Three persons, a man and two women, died at the scene, while the third woman aged in her 20s was rushed to The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and died there.

"This tragedy has taken the lives of four people and it's fair to say the impact will be profound on those families," Nyholm said.

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