Police issue warning to swimmers as three fight for life after near drownings in Byron

NEW South Wales Police have sent out an official warning to swimmers across the far north after a string of recent near drownings that have left three people fighting for life in hospital.

Over the past four days, two women and a man have got into difficulty while swimming in the Byron Bay area.

“In each case they were rescued with the assistance of Surf Lifesaving NSW, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, bystanders and local police,” A NSW Police statement read.


A 69-year old woman from Rose Bay and a 66-year old Victorian man remain at Gold Coast University Hospital in critical conditions. A 41-year old woman from Lismore remains in a critical condition in the Tweed Heads Hospital.

Chief Inspector Matthew Kehoe from Tweed/Byron Police District said it’s a timely reminder for everyone entering the water to be careful and swim within their capabilities.

“Don’t take unnecessary risks in the water. Take note of the swell and be aware of rips and beach conditions. Where possible people need to swim between the flags,” said Insp Kehoe.

“Remember safety in numbers; if possible swim with a friend or a group. We encourage everyone to enjoy the beach and the lifestyle it offers, but we want everyone entering the water to return to the beach safely. Our thoughts are with these three families at this terrible time.” said Chief Insp Kehoe.