A boat overturned in the Richmond River at Ballina this morning.
A boat overturned in the Richmond River at Ballina this morning.

Teen hero tried to save man, 90, who died falling overboard

UPDATE 3PM: A brave teenager has jumped off a yacht into the Richmond River in an attempt to help a 90-year-old Ballina man who tragically lost his life on Tuesday morning. 

Ballina Police acting detective inspector Ty Johnston said at 8.45am emergency services responded to an incident at the Ballina bar with two people on board.

He said the 90-year-old was ejected from the boat while the 17-year-old, who was a family friend, managed to stay on board. 

"(The 17-year-old) jumped off to provide assistance to the elderly gentleman,"  Detective Inspector Johnston said.

"He then climbed back onto the vessel where he contacted emergency services via the marine radio.

"He then returned to the water to the aid of the 90 year old male ensuring that he made it to shore at lighthouse beach."

Richmond Police District Detective inspector Ty Johnston gives an update to the media following the death of a 90-year-old man on the Ballina Bar.
Richmond Police District Detective inspector Ty Johnston gives an update to the media following the death of a 90-year-old man on the Ballina Bar. liana walker

He said the boat left Yamba last night and was due to arrive at the Ballina bar Tuesday morning. 

A small Jack-Russell terrier was also rescued from the boat. 

"At the time when the boat was crossing the bar the vessel did have a young little jack russell terrier on board," Detective Inspector Johnston said. 

"The family and the young 17-year-old male were extremely concerned for it's well-being.

"Police conducted a search of the vessel once it was secured and located the little jack russell terrier and took it to the vet to ensure it was safe and well."

The dog has since been returned to the family. 

Detective Inspector Johnston said the investigations were still being conducted into what caused the boat to capsize. 

"From early investigations it would appear the vessel was struck by a wave," he said.

 "Today the bar had a rating of extreme caution when crossing the bar.

"The NSW police like to remind any people who were utilising any water ways to always use extreme caution.

"When crossing the bar ensure that they adhere to regulations and legislation." 

He reminded boaties to ensure they wear a life vest, all their safety equipment is up to date and they are aware of the conditions of the bar at the time. 

A report into the man's death is being prepared for the coroner. Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to come forward. 

UPDATE 2PM: 

A man has died after falling off a boat at Ballina on Tuesday morning.

About 8.45am emergency services were called to Lighthouse Parade, East Ballina, following reports two people were in the water after a boat had capsized while crossing the Ballina Bar.

Police, along with NSW Ambulance paramedics, Surf Lifesaving NSW and the Westpac Helicopter commenced a rescue operation.

A short time later, a 17-year-old boy assisted a 90-year-old man to shore.

A member of the public commenced CPR on the older man until NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived but he died at the scene.

The boy was not injured.

Officers from Richmond Police District established a crime scene and commenced in inquiries continue into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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

 

UPDATE 12.35PM: An off-duty volunteer has been praised for their part in a rescue in East Ballina this morning.

Northern New South Wales lifeguard coordinator Scott McCartney said life guards were contacted just before 9am as they were preparing for the day to assist with a boat overturned at the Ballina bar.

A boat was brought to Lance Ferris Wharf at Ballina after overturning in the Richmond River this morning.
A boat was brought to Lance Ferris Wharf at Ballina after overturning in the Richmond River this morning. Rebecca Lollback

He said an off-duty volunteer had helped bring the two on-board to shore.

"They were just walking along the wharf and then jumped in to help the older person from the boat to shore," Mr McCartney said.

"Once the life guards got down there they started CPR on the unconscious patient.

"They continued for 15 minutes until paramedics arrived."

He said there was one younger and one older person on the boat and the younger person had brought the other as close to the shore as possible before the volunteer assisted.

Police are expected to comment on the status of the second patient who was in a critical condition soon. 

A small dog was also believed to be onboard.

 

UPDATE NOON: Police have taped off access to Lance Ferris Wharf at Ballina where a small yacht is moored.  

It is believed to be the vessel that overturned at the bar of the Richmond River this morning.

 

UPDATE 10.10am: One patient has been taken to Ballina Hospital after they fell overboard at the Ballina bar this morning.

A boat has overturned in the Richmond River at Ballina.
A boat has overturned in the Richmond River at Ballina. Rebecca Lollback

A New South Wales Ambulance person said two patients had been treated, one was in a critical condition, however their status has been unable to be confirmed. 

Emergency services at Ballina after a boat overturned in the Richmond River bar.
Emergency services at Ballina after a boat overturned in the Richmond River bar. Rebecca Lollback

 

Original story: Paramedics are treating a number of patients at East Ballina after they fell overboard when their boat overturned on Tuesday morning.

 

 

A Marine Rescue spokesman said the boat overturned at the Ballina bar on the northern side where two people fell overboard.

A boat has overturned in mouth of the Richmond River at Ballina this morning. Photo David Nielsen / The Northern Star
A boat has overturned in mouth of the Richmond River at Ballina this morning. Photo David Nielsen / The Northern Star

He said police, ambulance, surf lifesavers and a number of marine rescues attended the scene.

He said the boat was still drifting in the river.

A New South Wales Ambulance spokesman said three crews are attending the scene including a specialist medical team from the Westpac Life Saver Rescue helicopter.

He said one patient appeared to be in a critical condition.

MORE TO COME.



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