Beachgoers have been slammed for failing to join the rescue effort after one man drowned and seven others were pulled from the water at Tweed Heads on Christmas Day.
Twin brothers Shaun and Dean Harrington were surfing at the popular Gold Coast beach when they noticed a group of swimmers in trouble.
They quickly helped surf lifesavers drag the group from the water, but were left infuriated by fellow surfers and beachgoers who watched from the sidelines.
“To all those surfers yesterday at D’bah who watched two lifeguards me and my family save 6 people and one drowned F*** YOU,” they wrote on Instagram.
“If you see someone in trouble you HELP THEM and that kite boarder who nearly ran me over twice when I had an unconscious man in my arms you can get f***ed, some poor family has lost a life because people were standing around watching and doing f*** all, it’s f***ing bulls**t!!”
To all those surfers yesterday at D’bah who watched two lifeguards me and my family save 6 people and one drowned FUCK YOU if you see someone in trouble you HELP THEM and that kite boarder who nearly ran me over twice when I had an unconscious man in my arms you can get fucked, some poor family has lost a life because people were standing around watching and doing fuck all, it’s fucking bullshit!!
A 22-year-old Indian national, who was studying in Australia, was identified as the man who drowned. He had been studying at Southern Cross University.
While the ideal of helping a mate in trouble is undeniably Australian, some questioned whether it would be safe to enter the water and attempt to help if they were not strong swimmers themselves.
“There are many stories of parents who swim out to help their kids and the kids get saved by lifesavers but the parent drowns,” one woman wrote on the brother’s post.
“As an almost 50yr old fairly unfit woman I wouldn’t be jumping in to help because I would just give the lifesavers another person to save.”
Others praised the brothers for their efforts.
“The kiter could of assisted with dragging you guys in!! . . Im so puzzled as to why these people werent in assist mode,” wrote one man.
“Not good to hear mate. Should be instinct if you see someone struggling you help em,” said another.
Australian waters are notoriously tricky to master and even seasoned swimmers and surfers fall victim to unpredictable rips every year.
The Australian reports that 20 people have already drowned at Aussie beaches this festive season.
So should you go in to help a swimmer in distress no matter the conditions? Or is it better to stay back and keep yourself safe?