Hero Drowns While Rescuing Children Caught in Rip Current

Officials are now warning people to follow strict guidelines while swimming after a local hero died trying to save children caught in a rip current.

An Australia man has drowned after he attempted to help a father save his children caught in extremely strong undercurrents.

Shaun Oliver, a father as well, saw the other father struggling and immediately jumped into the “treacherous” waters. The 32-year-old was trying to help the 12-year-old boy when he got got in the current as well. While a surfer was able to pull the child from the waters, Oliver was dragged out to sea.

Emergency responders were called to Wallongong City Beach, south of Sydney, Sunday afternoon following reports that four children were having trouble swimming, according to 9News.

The father helped his two younger children to shore, but the two older children, ages 10 and 12, got caught in a strong rip current and were pulled further out to sea. An off-duty paramedic, who happened to be at the scene, ran in and pulled the 10 year old to safety.

He was faced with the terrible decision when he heard the cries for help,” wrote Oliver’s brother Nathanael Oliver on a GoFundMe page. “Without a thought for his own safety, [he] launched himself into the water.”

Police officers swam after Oliver, who was face down in the water, and pulled him to shore. Paramedics gave him CPR but he later died at a Wollongong hospital.

The children went swimming in the dangerous conditions despite the beach being closed, but the children’s mother, Islam Hammad, said they didn’t understand the safety protocol.

“The police said no flags, no swim, but we didn’t know that rule,” Hammad said to 9News. “There was nobody here telling us.”


Oliver left behind three small children and a wife.

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