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



Cosmic clashes set for local derby battle

STRUGGLING: It is always a tight tussle when the Yamba Buccaneers meet the Iluka Cossacks in the Clash of the Heads local derby.

Buccs look to reverse losing trend in Clash of the Head local derby.

Education a worthy spend: Hogan

Female high school student studying

Gonksi 2.0 model still benefits Valley according to Kevin Hogan

Support for Kara's treadmill marathon explodes

Former Grafton and now NSW cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling to cricket legend Sir Viv Richards. Photo: MARK NEWSHAM

Support for treadmill marathon thrills organiser Kara Sutherland.

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Bello Winter Music to sprout local Daisies

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Husky are performing at the Bello Winter Music festival in July.

Clarence bands take on Bellingen for music festival

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Working dogs put on a show at Ulmarra

The skills of man's best friend will be put to the test with the Ulmarra Dog Trials on June 24-25.

Man's best friend will be put the test at the Ulmarra Dog Trials.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!