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Ref: MR-01/16

15 January 2016

Media Release


There has been several cases of tragic drowning incidents recently within the Nepalese community in Australia.

A Nepalese man living in Victoria lost his life in the Alfred hospital, Melbourne after being rescued from drowning in Woolamai beach in Phillip Island on Sunday, 10th January 2016. This accident occurred when a group of friends, including the deceased himself, were on an evening trip to the Phillip Island beach. Four of them along with the deceased were standing knee-deep in water when suddenly a rip current swept them into the sea. A total of 17 off-duty lifeguards and lifesavers assisted in the rescue; sadly, two people lost their lives in the hospital- one of them was a 27 year old Nepalese man.

In 2015 December, three members from Nepalese community in Australia and New Zealand lost their life in sea during this summer- one in NSW, another in Queensland and the another one in New Zealand.

These tragic incidents show that we need to provide more information and awareness about drowning and water safety when swimming in pools, beaches or deep water in sea so that people can go into water safely without risking their life.

Following recent drowning tragedies, the Honorary Consul Mr Chandra Yonzon expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the friends and family of the deceased. He said ‘before going for swimming, people should have basic skills about how to swim and well-informed about the risk of drowning and preventing it’. He added ‘we urge everyone to take extreme precautions while swimming in the sea or any deep water’.

Consulate of Nepal in Victoria requests the Nepalese community to follow the safety guidelines issued by organisations like Life Saving Victoria or BeachSafe, which is extremely important for individuals own safety; and also circulate this information to their friends and family. This safety information will enable you to be prepared and enjoy your holiday at the beach and prevent any unwarranted tragedies.

We have summarised some key safety information for the benefit of everyone in the community. We humbly request everyone to take caution and stay safe in water. Visit or the Life Saving Victoria for more details.

• Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards

• Obey all hazard flags and directions from lifeguards

• Do not to swim outside patrolled hours

• Avoid alcohol and do not swim if in an inebriated condition

• Not to be obsessive with selfies, mobile phones and cameras while in the water or while swimming

• To keep a lookout for signs on the beach which provide safety information

• Beware of rip currents: Ask a lifeguard if there are rip currents at your swimming location

• Do not panic if caught in a rip, try to stay calm, conserve your energy and call out to seek help

• To try to float with the current as it may return you to a shallow sandbank

• Look out for safety signs and pay attention to the information while at the beach

Chandra Yonzon

Honorary Consul General of Nepal to Victoria,

Australia Date: 15 January 2016


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