sea tragedy | 

Heroic Irishman drowns trying to rescue his daughter (11) off the coast of Australia

The man was retrieved from the surf about 7pm by surf lifesavers and given CPR by paramedics, but died at the scene

Lennox Head in NSW© Getty Images

Cass Cowman

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A brave Irishman has tragically drowned while trying to rescue his daughter from the sea in Australia.

The 45-year-old man reportedly went into the water at Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head in New South Wales when his 11-year-old daughter was swept out to sea on a body board.

It has been reported that the couple and their three children were in shallow water on what, has been described, as an unpatrolled beach at about 6.30pm on Wednesday when the incident occurred.

The girl’s father swam out after her, however, he was unable to bring her back to shore.

The man's wife managed to reach the girl and the pair made it back to the beach and alerted authorities.

Two police officers who rushed to the scene tried to rescue the man from the water but were un able to.

The man was retrieved from the surf about 7pm by surf lifesavers and given CPR by paramedics, but died at the scene.

The woman and her daughter were treated by paramedics and allowed to go home.

Police on Thursday confirmed the family was from Lennox Head but the man was an Irish citizen.

"The family is from Lennox Head; officers from Richmond Police District have alerted the Irish Consulate of the man's death," police said in a statement.

“A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

The man's death represents the third drowning on the state's beaches in less than three weeks.

Police and Surf Life Saving NSW earlier this month issued a safety reminder to be extra careful in and around waterways after recent drownings.

The tragedy comes one year after Irishman Cassan Cowman also drowned rescuing his son from drowning in Australia.

Father-of-three Cassan Cowman (49), who was originally from Cork, drowned while rescuing his son after he slipped into water rapids in Queensland on 2 January 2022.

Cass Cowman

The tragedy happened when the family were enjoying a day out at Wappa Falls.

Mr Cowman bravely managed to push his son out of the water but he did not resurface.

The body of the Irishman, who was known to his friends as Cass, was discovered later that evening.

His wife Trish has paid tribute to her husband, whom she described as a “fabulous father” and “passionate about politics and social justice”.

“Our Irish and Australian families and friends are mourning the loss of Cassan, our father, husband, brother, friend,” she said in a statement to the Irish Independent.


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