A man has died and two other men have been taken to hospital after being rescued from a rip at a beach in Sydney’s Shire region.
The three men became caught in a rip while swimming at Shelly Beach in Cronulla and emergency services were called to the scene at about 1:50pm on Saturday.
Surf lifesavers used jetskis and were the first to reach the group of men.
When they got to the group of swimmers they found two men unconscious in the water and they were taken back to Cronulla.
The third man was returned to shore at Shelly beach.
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Paramedics attended the scene at Cronulla and provided CPR but one of the men could not be revived.
The deceased has not been formally identified and his age is not known.
The surviving pair – a man in his 40s and one in his 20s – were taken to St George Hospital with one in a stable condition, the state of the other is not known.
A man in his 40s was unconscious and underwater for three minutes and is being critical care medical staff, according to Nine News.
The publication also reported that a rescuer is being treated for exhaustion after swallowing water during the incident.
Australia has seen 51 drowning deaths – as at January 27 – with almost all the drownings around the country coming at unpatrolled beaches.
NSW accounts for 20 of the deaths, double the number seen in Queensland.
Men also make up 75 per cent of the fatalities on the water this year.
Royal Lifesaving CEO Justin Scarr told Englishheadline Australia men were often involved in more drownings because of the summer activities they participate in.
“Men are generally speaking more likely to participate in the high risk recreational activities boating, fishing, rock fishing particularly and that tends to boost the representation of men,” he said.
“We also know men, particularly older men perhaps underestimate the impact of other medical conditions and those things that they’re carrying that perhaps might mean they can’t swim as well as they used to and it might trigger some sort of medical episode.”
Australians were warned to check their swimming skills before venturing into open water and to make sure they’re fit to swim safely at the beach.
“At this time of year people are rediscovering their love of water, they’re going for that annual swim and so unfortunately we do see heart conditions, diabetes all sorts of things can complicate a day on the water,” Mr Scarr said.
“Older men particularly go and see your doctor, make sure that you’re still swim-fit, perhaps practice your swimming skills in the swimming pool first before you venture out to an open water swim or even at the beach or the local river.”