A pregnant woman and her husband are being hailed as heroes for desperately trying to rescue a group of swimmers caught in a rip at a popular Queensland beach.
Brock Harris, 23, swam into raging surf at Teewah Beach, north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, to help a group of swimmers.
Two men in their mid-30s drowned after trying to save a nine-year-old boy about 2.30pm Saturday.
Mr Harris says if it weren’t for his pregnant wife Allanah, 30, following him with a boogie board he also ‘wouldn’t be here’.
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Brock Harris (pictured with his wife Allanah), 23, swam into raging surf at Teewah Beach, north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, to help a group of swimmers who were caught in a rip
Paramedics pulled the swimmers from Teewah Beach, north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, shortly after 3pm Saturday
The couple had been camping at the popular beach since Thursday and decided to travel home a day early when they spotted the commotion in the water.
Three families had been travelling in the area when they stopped at the beach, with a nine-year-old going for a swim and getting into trouble.
Two men from the group rushed in to save him but got themselves stuck in the rip.
Mr Harris told the Courier Mail the rip was the worst he had ever seen and he could barely see the men in the turbulent waves.
That didn’t stop the 23-year-old from following them and bringing them back to shore, as a woman on the shore screamed ‘my husband is drowning, he is drowning’.
He pulled the first man to shore and began CPR, fracturing his wrist in the process, before spotting a second man in the ocean 10 minutes later.
Mr Harris says if it weren’t for his five-month pregnant wife Allanah, 30, following him with a boogie board he ‘wouldn’t be here’
Mr Harris rushed back into the ocean to save the second man but his energy quickly depleted.
‘The second bloke, I didn’t think I was coming back,’ he said.
Clearly seeing her husband drained from his rescue and CPR efforts, five-month-pregnant Ms Harris also jumped into the large waves to help her husband.
The 30-year-old swam a boogie board out to her husband to keep him afloat, saying she didn’t want to ‘lose him as well’.
Mr Harris was joined in the water by others who also tried to help save the men.
‘We just kept each other from drowning to be honest,’ Mr Harris said.
The couple had been camping at the popular beach since Thursday and decided to travel home a day early when they spotted the commotion in the water
A nine-year-old child was also pulled from the water and revived on the beach, and has since been rushed to hospital
Once the men made it back to shore he jumped back in a third time to save the nine-year-old boy, who was stuck in shoulder-deep water and couldn’t get back to shore.
The nine-year-old was revived on the beach and immediately ran back to his family’s campsite while Mr Harris recalled hearing the screams of a teenage girl.
The 23-year-old fractured his hand desperately performing CPR on the men, but they couldn’t be saved.
‘We lost the pulse, but we didn’t stop,’ he said.
One of the men was immediately unresponsive as the other man’s condition quickly deteriorated.
Off-duty cardiac doctors, surgeons, firefighters and lifesaving officials all tried to save the men as motorists blockaded the beach from anyone entering.
Multiple emergency response vehicles and three rescue helicopters were sent to the scene, which is difficult to access from the ground
Mr and Ms Harris said SES crews arrived to take down the campsite of the affected families and assisted them home.
Multiple emergency response vehicles and three rescue helicopters were sent to the scene, which is difficult to access from the ground.
‘The children were wading in the shallows and were caught out by a rogue wave, as a result of that a number of the children were dragged out into the deeper water, a couple of the parents have gone in to rescue the children,’ Craig Mckenzie from Queensland Police said.
‘It’s beautiful and fine at the moment but there is an underlying rip there and with rogue waves it catches people out.’
Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson Michael Augustus said the beach was difficult to access, meaning surf conditions are usually unknown.
‘We were provided assistance from other people such as [National Park] rangers and Surf Life Saving Queensland so we were able to get people on the scene rather quickly,’ he said.
Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson Michael Augustus said the beach was difficult to access, meaning surf conditions are usually unknown
First calls were made to emergency services about 2.30pm on Saturday.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Sunshine Coast regional manager Aaron Purchase said the incident came after a number of others on the same day.
‘Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the two men today,’ Mr Purchase said.
He is using the tragedy as a reminder for people to always swim within the red and yellow flags.
‘If you must swim at remote location, stay close to the beach and remain waist-deep. However, the safest place to swim remains at a patrolled location between the red and yellow flags,’ he said.
Teewah Beach is located at least 20km north of the Noosa River and is unpatrolled but has numerous campgrounds along the shore.
A report on the two deaths has been prepared for the coroner.