The Christmas season’s drowning death toll has risen again after a man drowned at Gravelly Beach on the NSW Central Coast on Sunday afternoon.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 30-year-old became unresponsive in the water at around 1pm while snorkelling.
Family members pulled him from the water and called emergency services, but the man could not be revived with CPR.
Since Christmas Day, 19 people — ranging from toddlers to an 83-year-old man — have lost their lives after getting into trouble in water.
“It certainly has been the highest [death toll] we have seen over the festive season,” Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman Liam Howitt told the ABC.
“That spike is not just in the surf, but in backyard pools, and inland rivers and lakes.”
Howitt attributed this spike to a number of factors, including the “distractions” inherent to the busy Christmas period, and the warm weather driving more people to bodies of water.
“What our volunteers — our lifesavers — are telling us is that it has been an exceptionally busy period over the summer; there are certainly more people travelling to the beach,” he said.
According to News Corp, the spate of drownings will be discussed by the state government at its next Cabinet meeting in February.
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