A young woman has tragically drowned while frantically trying to rescue another swimmer after a horror afternoon on Victoria’s waters.
The woman aged in her 20s had rushed to help a teenage girl struggling in the water at Venus Bay in the Gippsland region around 7.30pm on Wednesday night.
She also got into difficulty in the water and had to be dragged to shore by an off-duty lifeguard, where she couldn’t be revived, despite desperate efforts to save her.
The woman was one of three drownings within four hours across Victoria on Wednesday with another five swimmers hospitalised.
The death toll would have been higher if it wasn’t for the desperate efforts of lifeguards who saved a number of swimmers’ lives across the state.
A woman aged in her 20s drowned at Venus Bay (pictured) in the Gippsland region on Wednesday night
Another woman, 45, drowned four hours earlier after she was one of four swimmers swept off the rocks at Bushrangers Bay in the Mornington Peninsula around 3.30pm on Wednesday.
An 80-year-old man also drowned at Rye front beach in south Melbourne a short time later in a separate drowning on Wednesday afternoon.
Lifesaving Victoria director Kane Treloar described the tragedies as heartbreaking.
‘Today has been a challenging day for Lifesaving Victoria lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers. It breaks our hearts to have three tragic drownings in one day; three families that will never be the same again,’ he tweeted late Wednesday.
He added lifeguards saved the lives of distressed swimmers in at least three other separate near-drownings on Wednesday.
Emergency personnel (pictured) were called to Bushrangers Bay after a woman drowned on Wednesday afternoon , one of three drownings in Victoria in the space of four hours
Emergency services at the scene in Bushrangers Bay, where a woman drowned after being swept off rocks on Wednesday afternoon
Two lifeguards pulled a young woman unconscious from the water and revived her at Port Phillip Bay.
A family of three were rescued by lifeguards on jet skis after they were swept off a bank at an unpatrolled stretch of beach on the Surf Coast, while a boy was rescued from a dangerous rip in Gippsland on Wednesday night.
‘We’re committed to reducing drownings, and our team will be back out tomorrow; but we need you to do your part,’ Mr Treloar added.
He ended his tweet with a desperate plea for everyone to take care in the water this summer by knowing your limitations, not swimming alone and to swim between the flags.