March 19, 2010

Lifesaving competitor dies at Kurrawa, rough conditions blamed

Rough surf conditions at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on Kurrawa beach have claimed the life of 19-year-old NSW competitor Saxon Bird (Source: Surf Live Saving Qld). According to news reports, it's believed the surfer was knocked unconscious by his own surf ski, which washed up on the beach at approx 11:30am.

This prompted an air and sea search of the area, to which Bird was found less than an hour later by a fellow life saver. Paramedics performed CPR on the young surfer until he arrived at Gold Coast Hospital in a critical condition, but later passed away. (Source: Seven News)

The competition has been suspended, with police investigating as to why the competition went ahead despite the dangerous surf conditions. Officials from the competition had deemed the conditions safe to proceed today, despite a Severe Weather Warning being issued last night expecting dangerous surf conditions to develop today.

Meanwhile, preparations are continuing along the central Queensland Coast with the small sugar town of Proserpine expected to be in the direct path of Tropical Cyclone Ului. The cyclone was downgraded to a Category 2, with the visual satellite images showing the system losing it's eye and appearing to be dissipating. An animation of the Satellite Images over the last 3 days shows the system moving south.

At this stage, no further official warnings from the Bureau have been issued regarding any potential 'storm surge' or other adverse conditions to affect the Gold Coast over the weekend.