Camper drowns in Lake Tinaroo
DISTRAUGHT family and friends screamed for help on the Lake Tinaroo shoreline as they watched a man fight for his life in the water on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old Brinsmead man died after getting into difficulty only a short distance from shore in front of where his group was staying at the Downfall Creek camp ground.
Rescuers, including Goldsborough Valley man Russ Wiley, pulled the man from the water and did their best to revive him, but their efforts were in vain.
Mr Wiley said the man's mother came running over screaming repeatedly "my boy is in the water".
"I raced over and pushed my boat in and tore straight over there," he said.
"It was all in full view of their family, it was right in front of their tents, really."
It is believed the man had been out in an inflatable dinghy with his wife and two young children about 7.20pm when they ran out of fuel and were attempting to paddle back to shore.
Atherton police acting Senior Sergeant Mike Dolby said the man lost the oar and had jumped into the water to retrieve it before getting into trouble.
Mr Wiley said he had helped pull the man and his friend, who was attempting to keep him afloat, from the water before bringing them back to shore and they began CPR after the victim's condition deteriorated.
Emergency services crews, including the EMQ helicopter, arrived at the camp site and continued attempts to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Twocamperssaid the group of around 12 had packed up and left as soon as the helicopter took off.
"He was a young fellow with a young family. It is all very sad," one woman, who asked not to be named, said.
Water police Sergeant Andrew Ibell said it was vital to know your swimming ability before entering the water.
"Quite often when people break down in boats, it does appear the shore is closer than what it seems," he said.
"Sometimes people aren't as prolific a swimmer as what they might think and often it's safer to just drift into shore rather than to try and swim."
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