Man dead in Barwon Heads after boat capsized

(Ljubica Vrankovic)

A man has died in Barwon Heads over the weekend after he became trapped underneath a capsized boat.

Emergency services were called to the incident on Saturday, February 3, following reports that a boat had capsized near the river mouth at close to 6.50am.

A Life Saving Victoria (LSV) spokesperson said a 61-year-old Moriac man and 66-year-old Anglesea man were on the boat in the Barwon River when they were hit by a wave, causing their vessel to overturn.

“A 61-year-old man was rescued by the public and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” they said.

“The other man, yet to be identified, remained trapped under the boat. He was rescued by LSV members but was sadly declared deceased at the scene.”

An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said the surviving man was taken to the Geelong University Hospital in stable condition.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said it was investigating the exact circumstances around the incident and would prepare a report to the coroner.

Following the number of incidents over the weekend, LSV Lifesaving Operations general manager Liam Krige urged everyone to prioritise their water safety.

“We really want people to enjoy the water, but we want them to return home safely at the end of it,” he said.

“LSV is extremely concerned about the number of drownings we are seeing across the Victorian coastline and inland waterways.

“To date this summer, we’ve seen 22 drownings. That is far too many. Many of those are preventable and avoidable. This weekend alone, we have seen significant incidents.”

Ambulance Victoria Emergency Management director Justin Dunlop said people needed to pay attention to their surroundings around water.

“Ambulance paramedics have seen far too many deaths and near misses from drownings, from inland and coastal waterways,” he said.

“Please don’t swim alone. Make sure that you are aware of the conditions, preferably swim at a patrolled beach and swim between the flags.

“Our paramedics are there to help as soon as they can, and if you’re in trouble, if you’re having a life-threatening emergency, dial triple zero, but save triple zero for emergencies only.”