News

Birthday celebrations end in tragedy for surfer's family

TRAGEDY: Turners beach drowning victim Ken McLean, with his partner Michele (left) and sister Rhonda Shone.
TRAGEDY: Turners beach drowning victim Ken McLean, with his partner Michele (left) and sister Rhonda Shone.

A LISMORE surfer who drowned at Turners Beach was on a week-long holiday in Yamba to celebrate his birthday.

Ken McLean paddled out into the surf on Wednesday afternoon after a seafood lunch on his 54th birthday, while his partner and family members relaxed on the beach.

Clarence Valley lifeguard supervisor Greg Wyllie said he was surfing in one to two foot waves when he was presumably hit in the head by his board, and was found floating in the water by nearby boardriders about 3.50pm.

"He was surfing on his own within 20 metres of three other surfers and at some stage he caught a wave and fell off his board and the board hit him in the bridge of the nose," Mr Wyllie said.

"The three surfers and a lifeguard all responded in a synchronised manner to the man, who was face down in the water, within two minutes, and brought him to shore unconscious."

His sister Rhonda Shone, who was on the beach at the time, said it all happened extremely quickly.

"I had just walked out of the surf and saw Ken on his board, and then I saw people running down there, and thought something big must have happened," she said.

"Then I saw it was him."

Despite the best efforts of the lifeguard on duty and two off-duty paramedics who attempted to resuscitate him using CPR and a defibrillator, Mr McLean could not be revived and was pronounced dead in the ambulance at 4.35pm.

Ms Shone said she and her brother had both grown up in the water, and that he was a keen "surfer, fisherman; anything to do with the water".

"The worst part about this is Ken's partner, her first husband drowned too," she said.

Mr McLean's death is the first confirmed drowning on a patrolled Clarence Valley beach in more than 18 years.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone who assisted, from the surf lifesavers and off-duty paramedics to the girls who brought him in," Ms Shone said.

"There were too many names to remember but everyone was just amazing and it's greatly appreciated by the family.

"Whoever is reading this, we would like them to make a donation to the Surf Life Saving Club, even if it's just $2. It could save someone's life."

Mr Wyllie also commended the actions of the lifeguard on patrol for her professional conduct and dedicated efforts to save Mr Mclean, who worked in Yamba on and off for the past couple of years.

"The actions of the life guard on yesterday were highly commendable, and it was a quick response by lifeguard and surfers within paddling distance, who both got to the patient at the same time. The team that we have on hand here do an outstanding job and do work well under pressure."

Topics:  drowning, editors picks, lismore, turners beach, yamba



Local league flier swoops on NRL opportunity

BURSTING THROUGH BARRIERS: Lower Clarence Magpies fullback Daine Laurie has opened up a pathway to the top echelon of Australian rugby league earning a contract with the Penrith Panthers Under 20s side.

Magpies' rising star Daine Laurie to link up with Panthers U20s.

Women recognised for inspired care

BETTER TOGETHER: Award winners from Caroona Aged Care Yamba care coordinator Lorraine Harding and Service manager Debra Smith.

Caroona duo awarded for excellence in care.

Magic fun for all these holidays

BALLOON MAGIC: Magician and balloon twister Magic Jake Meurs at Grafton Shoppingworld entertaining kids on their school holidays.

Magic Jake to perform free shows at Shoppingworld this week.

Local Partners

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction