Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 3rd 2018 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 - PAGE 3
A MAN drowned at a Cape Woolamai beach
on Monday afternoon following another sus-
pected drowning on Christmas Day.
Shortly before 5pm on Monday, January 1,
a man was spotted in trouble at the Woola-
The man, who hasn’t been identified, is
believed to have been caught in a rip and
couldn’t swim out of it. Police say rescue at-
tempts to reach the swimmer were unsuc-
The man was found dead about 20 minutes
Separately, a 28-year-old Melbourne man
is suspected to have drowned on Christmas
Day after he went for a swim at the Woolamai
Local surfers came to the aid of the swim-
mer at around 5.30pm when they saw he was
struggling in the rough conditions, but were
unable to save him.
He was taken out to sea by the strong cur-
Emergency services spent the evening
searching for the man. The following day, a
local swimmer discovered human remains.
They were sent off for forensic testing, but
police say it’ll take up to six weeks before the
results are known.
The Woolamai Beach re-opened on Boxing
Day, with lifesavers urging people to swim in-
between the flags.
Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club life mem-
ber Michelle Murphy offered the club’s con-
dolences to the family and friends of the
She said for people who didn’t grow up
around beaches, there can be a lack of un-
derstanding about the dangers of swimming.
“The Woolamai Beach itself is a bar and rip
beach, so what happens is the waves break
on the sandbar and that’s the safest place for
people to swim, ” she said.
“That’s where the flags are and I can under-
stand that from the ramp, people see a flat
piece of water and it looks really inviting and
calm, but that’s the rip.
“If you’re not a strong swimmer and you
weren’t brought up near a beach, you’d want
to swim there, but that’s the most dangerous
The Woolamai Beach is ranked “highly haz-
ardous” with a hazard rating of 8/10.
Ms Murphy highlighted the importance of
swimmers regularly checking to make sure
they’re swimming in between the flags.
“Life savers move the flags slightly as the
tide goes in and out because as that happens
the sandbars move around and over a 24 hour
period, the size of the sandbar changes. ”
She said people need to listen to the direc-
tions of lifesavers and encouraged beachgo -
ers to always swim with a friend.
“Life savers are constantly asking people to
move across, many not realising they’re one
step away from being caught in a rip.
“These are really simple things but when
you think about it, it’s the perception. The
water might look calm but people need to be
weary because that’s likely a rip.
“If you’re unsure, please go ask the life sav-
ers. We also have signs at the top of the ramp
telling people about where to swim, water
temperature and things like that.”
If you find yourself in a rip, do not try and
“Allow it to take you out and it will invari-
ably bring you back to a sandbar,” Ms Mur-
“You will get exhausted very quickly if you
try and fight it so stay calm, and focus on
floating on your back.”
On Christmas Day, Life Saving Victoria is-
sued a statement urging all beachgoers to
stay safe this summer.
Operations manager Greg Scott said it’s
important people realise how dangerous
beaches can be, even on a calm day.
“Conditions can change quickly so we ask
people to check weather forecasts and moni-
tor the conditions,” he said.
“To ensure your day at the beach is an en-
joyable one, consider your own abilities as
well as the abilities of any children or family
members with you, before entering the water.
“Know how to identify and avoid rip cur-
rents. Three-quarters of people cannot iden-
tify a rip current, and two-thirds of the peo -
ple who think they can spot a rip, can’t .”
He encouraged beachgoers to swim at pa-
trolled beaches when possible.
Locally owned & operated
Phone 5672 2056
Call the commercial
and residential waste
Is your site bin content
recycled or dumped
in land fill?
Our hook & skip bins are hand
sorted to guarantee 75% of
your waste is recycled
WONTHAGGI 5672 3798
& COWES 5932 0776
SCRC Ladies Day 2018 - T14 45mm x 261mm
Monday, November 20, 2017 10:09:38 PM
Are you waiting for
No phone line at your house?
We can arrange your telephone civil
works for your connection:
Phone Ian 0418 327 960
5672 4739 ah
TOURISTS and the local Bass Coast commu-
nity are banding together on Facebook to help
each other avoid busy summer traffic.
Beachgoers on their way to Phillip Island
have been posting regular traffic updates to the
‘Phillip Island Traffic Check’ Facebook page to
help spread out the amount of traffic heading
to Phillip Island.
It’s most useful when there’s an accident or
heavy traffic and motorists are better off delay-
ing the drive for a couple of hours, says Face-
book page founder and Phillip Island resident
Although she’s temporarily staying in Castle-
maine, Nina still manages to help out motor-
ists three hours away because there’s so many
people on their way to Phillip Island willing to
“It was just set up for a couple of friends be-
cause getting from one place to another was re-
ally difficult,” she said.
“I dropped off the kids in Melbourne in sum-
mer, I think it was around Boxing Day 2014,
and I sat at Bass and it took me around an hour
and a half to get back home.
“If someone had told me it was that bad, I
wouldn’t have gone, I would’ve stayed in Mel-
bourne and had dinner.”
After the lengthy trip home, Nina started the
Facebook page and within two days, it had
more than 300 followers.
“It’s just flourished. It’s created a community
where we’re relying on everybody for informa-
“I think part of the problem is that there’s no-
where for the traffic to go, it just gets banked
Nina says VicRoads and the local council
could work together to open up the bike track
along Phillip Island Road as an additional lane
in case there’s an accident on Phillip Island.
“For most of the year, there’d be bollards on
the track and you couldn’t drive down it, but
when the road is shut for 12 hours, it would
make sense for traffic to go down there.
“It would be fully policed, like when there’s
roadworks and you drive at next to no speed.”
Nina works closely with local police and other
emergency services to get key safety messages
She often encourages drivers to bring extra
water, food and if there’s a young one, baby for-
mula, in case there are delays going to Phillip
Canada’s John and Sophie Moquin narrow-
ly avoided being hit last week when they ran
across the Phillip Island Road in San Remo,
just before the bridge. It’s a busy intersec-
tion, but the community effort around the
Phillip Island Traffic Check Facebook page
is helping to spread out traffic going to Phil-
lip Island. mm510118
Easing Phillip Island’s traffic nightmare
The police helicopter continued searching
on Wednesday, after a local swimmer found
human remains on Boxing Day. mm020118
Two drown at Woolamai Beach
It’s important people listen to life guards, as they are constantly asking people to move
across to ensure they’re in between the flags. mm040118
Life guards patrolled the Woolamai Beach last week, keeping an eye on keen beachgoers
cooling down in the water. mm030118
Links Archive December 27 2017 January 9th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page