A man in Western Australia rushed into the ocean to help his teenage sons Saturday, but ended up drowning, according to local news outlets.
The 55-year-old father had “limited swimming experience,” but disregarded his lack of skills when he thought his children were in trouble in the water off of Yallingup Beach, News.com.au reported.
“To him, they looked like they were struggling in the water, and unfortunately, he drowned trying to save them,” according to South West Western Australia Acting Superintendent John Bouwman.
“Like most parents do, they go to the aid of their kids when they‘re struggling, thinking they can save them.”
The two boys, 13 and 15, were fine, Bouwman told the news media, according to Perthnow.com.
The man and his family were visiting from Perth, according to news reports.
“The boys were just swimming straight off the beach like everybody else,” Bouwman said, according to News.com.au. “They weren‘t doing anything stupid,” he said.
“I think it‘s inexperience in the water. …. the dad had no real swimming experience.”
The news outlet quoted Surf Life Saving WA general manager Chris Peck as advising people to know their limits.
“We would say to people that if you‘re in an unfamiliar area, and you’re not sure about your own capability then make a decision perhaps to not to go out in those particular areas.
“Everyone stay safe … and get some information and just have a think about what you‘re doing before you go into the water, that’d be our message.”
He said lifeguards were not present at the time of the incident.
“There are not going to be patrols at six o’clock at night,” Peck told the news outlet.
“There is a limit in terms of how far you can spread your resources because there’s 13,000km [8,077 miles] of coastline from a West Australian perspective that we have to try to get across.”