Bodies of elderly couple washed away by FREAK WAVE found in suspected double drowning

Chief Inspector said, 'It appears they may have walked on the rock platform and been washed off by the ocean, such a tragedy, on a double scale'


                            Bodies of elderly couple washed away by FREAK WAVE found in suspected double drowning
(Representational Image/Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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The bodies of an elderly couple have been retrieved by police one day apart after the pair was washed off the rocks near Lake Macquarie in New South Wales. The married couple, according to Lake Macquarie police, was going on a ‘notorious’ journey to the Pink Caves, which are near the Central Coast in the Munmorah State Conservation Area. The couple was sightseeing when a freak wave hit them. Both Birdie and Moonee beaches are unpatrolled. 

The man's body has been found near Lake Macquarie a day after an elderly woman was pulled out of the water at Moonee Beach. At 2:30 pm on Monday, July 25, emergency personnel was called to the beach when a woman in her 80s was discovered swimming in the water. She received treatment at the scene but could not be revived. Lake Macquarie Police District then began searching nearby for a missing man aged in his 70s who was known to the woman. Following a thorough air and sea search, the man's body was discovered offshore on Tuesday morning, July 26, roughly 2.5 kilometers south of Birdie Beach.

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Officers stated that although the individual has not yet been officially identified, it is believed that he is the missing person. According to the Daily Mail, police revealed that the couple was from North Epping in Sydney and both Birdie and Moonee beaches are unpatrolled. Investigations into the incident are ongoing and a report will be prepared for the coroner. Chief Inspector Peter Vromans said, "It appears they may have walked on the rock platform and been washed off by the ocean. Such a tragedy, on a double scale.” Police are expected to provide more details at a press conference later on Tuesday, July 26. 

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Earlier, in a similar incident last year, Jules Lunanga, 18, was swimming with his mates in the water near Albury on Christmas Day when he got into trouble and went missing. Later, the man's body was discovered in a river in a nature reserve west of Melbourne, and a three-year-old drowned near Lake Macquarie. The number of drowning deaths last December was more than double the ten-year average. Of the 61 tragedies last year, 39 percent drowned in a river and 33 percent at the beach. Authorities are concerned that this year the number would be even worse. 

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