22 January 2024

Man dies after incident at McCauley's Beach, police say

| Zoe Cartwright
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The man may have suffered a medical incident while swimming at McCauley’s Beach. Photo: WikiCommons.

A man in his 70s died at McCauley’s Beach on Sunday (21 January) after he got into difficulty in the water.

Beachgoers and surf life savers went to the man’s aid at about 9 am and provided CPR until NSW Ambulance officers arrived.

A Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson said patrol officers attended as quickly as possible to help.

“Just after 9 am, the SLSNSW State Operations Centre became aware of a CPR in progress on a male at the unpatrolled McCauley’s Beach,” the spokesperson said.

“SLS assets were already en route as a member of the public called nearby surf clubs directly.

“The male was initially assisted from the water by members of the public, conscious and breathing, but collapsed and fell unconscious on shore.

“Shortly after, an Inflatable Rescue Boat from Thirroul arrived and assisted NSW Ambulance with CPR. The man left the scene by ambulance with CPR still being conducted.”

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A NSW Police spokesperson said the man may have suffered a medical episode while swimming before he was taken to hospital, where he later died.

“Around 9 am, emergency services were called to McCauley’s Beach near Wollongong following reports a man had been assisted onto the beach by a swimming partner after suffering what is believed to be a possible medical episode,” the NSW Police spokesperson said.

“Officers attached to Wollongong Police Area Command have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death.

“A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.”

The incident was not related to a large-scale search off Sharkey’s Beach, also on Sunday.

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It is understood the Sharkey’s beach search was initiated after a swimmer alerted authorities they may have seen a body in the water; however, the multi-agency search was called off after several hours.

“A member of the public activated the Emergency Response Beacon and reported having seen a person go under in the water at around 2:30 pm,” the Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson said.

“Many SLS and Illawarra assets were assigned, including members of Coledale SLSC being the nearest surf club and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, and after some time, they determined nothing found.”

Emergency crews say they did not find a body, and nobody was reported missing in the area.

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