Swimmer Critically Injured After Incident In Waters Off Mersey Bluff, Devonport

About 3:35pm emergency services were contacted by members of the public who observed two swimmers in difficulty in the water off the rocks at the Mersey Bluff, Devonport.  Police attended and observed one young girl, aged 15 years, in the water and in obvious difficulty.

Police and the Devonport Surf Club deployed their rescue boats.  With little regard for their own safety, two police officers and two members of the public entered the water with one man making his way out to assist the girl.  The other girl who was also 15 years old, made her way to shore herself prior to police arrival.  The young girl in the water was unable to save herself but was held by the man in the water until the surf club rescue boat arrived.

After being pulled to the safety of the rescue boat, the young girl was treated by Ambulance Tasmania and Tasmania Police members on the beach for some time.  She was then transported to the Mersey Community Hospital where she remains in a critical condition.  The other young girl received minor abrasions and was treated for shock at the scene.

Inspector Stuart Wilkinson said “Changing weather conditions pose a risk to all water users and swimmers in Tasmanian waters.  We urge all people to take caution when swimming in open waters and be mindful of currents, winds and to be aware of the often quickly changing conditions which may lead to tragic events such as this.  As well as Ambulance Tasmania and Tasmania Police members, the gratitude of our community should go to the two men who bravely entered the water without hesitation and potentially saved this young girl’s life.”

Police are seeking any witnesses to the incident and request that they contact the Devonport Police Station on 64784011 or the police assistance line on 131444.