04.59 pm, Wednesday July 25 2012

Mother drowns after trying to save son

07:00 AEST Mon Jan 23 2012
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A woman has died trying to save her son and his friends after they were swept out to sea at a Victorian beach.

Dallas mother Demet Latifoglu, 36, was one of seven people, including her son and three friends, who were swept out to sea shortly after midday yesterday when they got caught in a rip at Urquhart Bluff between Anglesea and Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road.

"The kids were playing in the water and the mothers thought they had gone in too far, so they went in to call them back," family friend Ersin Konukaldi told the Herald Sun.

"The further the mothers went in, the further the children drifted out. The rip got hold of the two mothers and dragged them out."

Anglesea Sergeant Kevin Warburton said other onlookers used surfboards to try and help before lifeguards from nearby beaches at Anglesea and Fairhaven arrived.

"There were a lot of brave people on the beach today," Sgt Warburton said.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said Ms Latifoglu went into cardiac arrest and paramedics tried to resuscitate her for about an hour before she was airlifted to Geelong Hospital, where she died a short time later.

The six other people who had to be rescued — boys aged eight, nine, 13 and 14 and two women aged 18 and 36 — were also taken to hospital suffering minor injuries and shock.

Greg Scott, of Life Saving Victoria, said Urquhart Bluff was not patrolled and about 20 volunteer lifesavers from nearby Anglesea and Fairhaven beaches helped to rescue the group.

Mr Scott encouraged all beachgoers to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.

"It can be quite rough," he said.

"We want people to go out there and enjoy the beaches, but we want them to go home safe at the end of the day by swimming between the flags at a patrolled location."

The beach was closed after the tragedy.

Meanwhile, at about 2pm at Frankston, a man in his 70s found himself in difficulties in the water in front of the life saving club.

He went into cardiac arrest before being taken to Frankston Hospital in a critical condition.

At Gunnamatta Beach on the Mornington Peninsula a man in his 60s was washed onto rocks suffering cuts and abrasion and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

In another incident a jet skier fractured his leg off Sorrento and had to be airlifted to The Alfred Hospital.


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