A surfer has died after being pulled unresponsive from the water at Dee Why Beach.

Shortly before 8.00am this morning (Saturday, 28 October), emergency services were called to a report of a surfer pulled unconscious and not breathing from the water at Dee Why Beach, near the rock pool.

The man, who has not been formally identified but is understood to be in his 50s, was in the water with around 20 other surfers off Dee Why rock pool. He had just come off a wave and from shore, he was seen to attempt to sit up on his board, when he appeared to slump forward and collapse into the water.

Soon after, another surfer paddled over to investigate, finding the man unconscious in the water and signalling for help to raise the alarm. A further three surfers came to assist and abandoning their boards, together they brought the man to shore.

A concerned beachgoer called Triple Zero (000). Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command, NSW Ambulance, including a NSW Ambulance Inspector, and the CareFlight Rescue Helicopter, responded to Dee Why Beach. The CareFlight helicopter landed nearby at James Meehan Reserve, behind the car park at Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club, just after 8.15am with a specialist critical care medical response team.

The incident occurred before the commencement of Surf Life Saving NSW patrols, meaning there were no lifesavers on scene at the beach when the man was pulled from the water. CPR was commenced by the surfers and people on scene who came to assist. It is understood an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from the surf club was also used on the man, and bystanders performed CPR for around 10-15 minutes until the first ambulance arrived.

Paramedics and the CareFlight doctor took over attempts to resuscitate the man. It is understood he experienced a suspected medical episode in the water. They transferred the man to an Intensive Care Ambulance, which took him to Northern Beaches Hospital in a critical condition with the CareFlight medical team on board just before 8.45am. Shortly after arrival, he was declared deceased.

A NSW Police spokesperson said a report on the man’s death will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Image: Northern Beaches Advocate (file)

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