Surfers blast bystanders in Christmas Day beach drowning

Duranbah Beach
Duranbah Beach

Two surfers have hit out at other onlookers for not trying to rescue a man who drowned at a beach in Australia on Christmas Day.

Indian student, Ravneet Singh Gill, 22, was one of an eight-strong group of friends who were pulled out to sea by a strong current at Duranbah Beach in New South Wales.

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The group were rescued by lifeguards but Mr Singh Gill could not be revived.

Brothers Dean and Shaun Harrington assisted in the rescue and took to social media afterwards to blast others that did not get involved.

The post read: "If you see someone in trouble you HELP THEM".

It added: "Some poor family has lost a life because people were standing around watching and doing nothing."

Mr Singh Gill had been living and studying on the Gold Coast for the last three years. Friends described him as "golden-hearted" and, according to the Daily Mail, added: "It was his plan to swim at the beach. Another friend said we'll swim at the pool but he said we should go down to the beach.

"He was (looking forward) to Christmas too, to enjoy his holiday."

The Gold Coast Sikh Council paid tribute, saying: "As the eldest of his family, Ravneet was the pillar of hope and support for his parents and younger brother who reside in India."

The brothers' post has raised questions as to whether you should intervene if you see someone in trouble in the ocean.

One online user said: "How is it selfish to stay on the beach out of the way? It's 100x better than getting in the way of the rescue and putting yourself at risk."

According to the BBC, Surf Lifesaving New South Wales recommend members of the public alert lifeguards or call emergency services, but do not advocate one way or the other for getting involved in rescues.

However, they recognise that surfers do perform rescues at the beach and offer a programme to teach them how to carry out rescues properly as well as give CPR and administer first aid.