Yamba Northern Main Beach.
Yamba Northern Main Beach. Ebony Stansfield

DROWNING: Police reveal possible cause

POLICE have released an official statement regarding the drowning of a 57-year-old Brisbane man at Yamba's Main Beach.

They state that they believe at this stage the man, who disappeared in waist-deep water at 9.20 on Wednesday morning may have suffered a medical incident.

A brief of information will be prepared for the coroner

Speaking yesterday, Clarence Valley Life Guard supervisor Greg Wylie said it was a sad day for all involved.

It is understood the man was body boarding in the water with his son at the time of the incident.

"One minute he could see his dad, and the next minute he's face down in the water."

"He had fins on and had a floatation device with him and something happened quickly," he said.

There have been suggestions of a medical episode but Mr Wylie said that had not been confirmed.

"The lifeguard on duty quickly became aware of the circumstances and two members of the public helped pull him to the shore."

The Australian Lifeguard Service confirmed the man was pulled unconscious from the water by a lifeguard from the ALS with the assistance of a member of the public who was an off-duty police officer.

Mr Wylie said three medical staff happened to be on the beach as the event unfolded while the lifeguard at Turner's Beach attended the scene.

Lifeguards and lifesavers including the Far North Coast Branch Duty Officer who attended the scene immediately commenced CPR on the man with the aid of the public first responders.

"Two nurses and a doctor were at the beach so he was given lots of medical support," he said.

"They administered CPR for approximately 30 minutes, and even brought out the defibrillator to give the man the best chance of survival. The ambulance arrived about 10-15 minutes which was really commendable."

Treatment was continued until paramedics arrived and he left the beach in an Ambulance.

Despite the best efforts of all involved he was unable to be revived and was later pronounced deceased.

"You'd like to believe all the measures you take, such as the excellent teamwork undertaken by everyone involved will prevent these tragedies, but sadly this wasn't the case," he said.

"I'd like to commend the two lifeguards for rising to the occasion and two nurses and doctors who came to assist."

Mr Wylie said that despite this morning's tragedy, Main Beach Yamba was still safe to swim at today.

"Our thoughts go out to the man's family and friends who witnessed this tragic incident this morning," said ALS Northern NSW Coordinator Scott McCartney.

"It's an extremely difficult situation and while it wasn't the outcome we were all hoping for, the prompt response of all involved including those members of the public gave the man the best chance of survival.".

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