The Easter long weekend started tragically at Pacific Palms when a 70-year-old woman drowned at the northern end of Elizabeth Beach on Thursday, April 14.
Emergency services were called to the scene just after 1pm and CPR commenced by Surf Life Saving lifeguards, however the woman could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Less than an hour prior, another drowning took place at Moonee Beach, near Lake Macquarie.
Related: Woman dies at Elizabeth Beach
A person was found floating in the water at Pink Caves, after several people were swept from the rocks by a large wave. One woman was able to get back to safety, and a man jumped into the water to attempt to rescue a second woman.
Lifeguards from a nearby beach were called, but unfortunately the 20-year-old woman could not be revived.
"For two tragic incidents to have occurred virtually at the same time is extremely sad," said Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce.
For two tragic incidents to have occurred virtually at the same time is extremely sad.- Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce
"We are grateful for the response from our lifeguards to both resuscitation attempts and our thoughts are with the families of the victims.
"With people making the most of the good weather and the long weekend, we are expecting beaches to be busy and our volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force, doing their utmost to ensure everyone gets home safely."
Sadly, a third woman drowned near Bateman's Bay on Easter Sunday, April 17, with three other people being hospitalised, with what was described as a "chaotic scene" at Surf Beach.
Lifesavers are urging people to take care on NSW beaches and always swim between the flags following the fatalities, particularly with the prevalent current powerful swells.
Related: One dead after rescue at NSW beach
Surf club patrols and additional school holiday lifeguard services continue through until Anzac Day, however surf life saving resources and volunteers are stretched in many locations and are asking the public for help.
"Our people are tired, it's been a long season and the impacts of COVID and recent flooding have taken a toll on our clubs and callout teams," Mr Pearce said.
"We need everyone to take some responsibility for their safety, swim at a patrolled location and please always wear a lifejacket if you are boating or rock fishing."
For beach safety information and to find your nearest patrolled beach, head to the Beachsafe website www.beachsafe.org.au or download the app.
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