Man drowns at Lake Stockton despite brave rescue efforts

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
VideoA day trip has turned to tragedy after a man drowned while swimming in a lake near Collie.

UPDATE: After reassessing their search area police divers recovered the body of the 22-year-old at about 9.20am.

The search had been suspended overnight and divers resumed the search at 9am after moving the search area further from the shore.

The body was located at a depth of about 15m and 30m from the shore.

PREVIOUSLY: A 22-year-old Perth man drowned at Lake Stockton in Collie on Monday despite efforts by other lake users to save him.

The man had been enjoying the lake with a group of family and friends in waist-deep water just after 5pm when an inflatable device they were using was blown further out.

After making an effort to retrieve the device the man came into difficulty before disappearing below the surface 25m from the shore.

After hearing calls for help three young women aged 16 to 19 swam to the area where the man was last seen but were unsuccessful in their attempts to rescue him.

Collie police Sen. Sgt Heath Soutar said their efforts were brave.

“They were three strangers to the group that was using the lake,” he said.

“They had been using a jetski on the other side of the lake, had just brought that back in when they responded to the calls for help.”

A man with diving experience also attempted to help in the rescue but could not reach the depth of the 22-year-old which was thought to be more than 15m.

A fourth woman also made rescue attempts.

Police divers arrived just after 9am on Tuesday morning to set up a search in order to retrieve the man’s body.

They performed a circular search around a buoy located where the man was last seen.

Sen. Sgt Soutar said many lakes in the Collie area had steep drop-offs that people needed to be wary of as they were former mines.

“I implore people that are using the lakes and water bodies to be aware of the surroundings and environment,” he said.

“Be comfortable with your own swimming ability and the depth of water you are swimming in.”

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