Mother-Daughter Duo Mishap at Tasmania’s Somerset Beach


A mother was drowned at a beach at Somerset while trying to save her daughter.  49-year-old Yolande Scheffer was swimming with her two daughters when they found themselves in trouble.

Police were called at 5.50 pm on Thursday. While the authorities are on their way to the place, off-duty surf lifesavers pulled Mrs. Scheffer out from the water and tried CPR, reported police.  She was rushed into the North-West Regional Hospital at Burnie. However, she was later declared dead.

Sergeant Steve Jones of Tasmania Police said that the off-duty surf lifesavers were from Somerset Surf Lifesaving Club and they came to rescue Yolande after she had sent her elder daughter for help, reported The Advocate.

Sergeant Jones thanked the Somerset Surf life Saving Club and said that it was fortunate that they were present at the beach. “Although, not on duty at that time, they responded immediately,” Jones said.

Her younger daughter aged 9, was also saved, affirmed ABC. Both the daughters were unharmed and comforted by bystanders.

Ms. Scheffer was also a mother of 14-year-old boy and a divorcee, police said. She was the only carer of the children.

Police confirmed that Yolande was a skilled swimmer. Sergeant Nikala Parsons said that Yolande got into difficulty after she was hit by a wave and some bystanders tried to help her until ambulance reached. She added that an accident like this was very distressing not only for the small community but also for police.

Boyd Grigg, lifesaving and Services Manager of Surf Life Saving Tasmania said that the beach was considered safe and the accident was tragic.

“We believe that they were just boogie boarding in front of the club but we are not sure of the circumstances to how they got into the trouble,” he told ABC.

Regarding the fortunate presence of off-duty lifesavers, he said, “They were just about to go and do some training at the club when they spotted the people … in the water and went out and retrieved, rescued those people and brought them back to shore and then continued performing the CPR on the mum.”

The incident was sad and tragic for the small community. Nevertheless, the incident also reminded people to make sure of their water capabilities and safety skills before embarking in any water adventures.

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