A MAN in his 50s has died after being swept out to sea during an unsupervised snorkelling trip with his wife at Heron Island off the central Queensland coast today.
In a statement, the management of Heron Island confirmed the man had been a guest.
“While information is still coming to hand, it appears the male guest in his 50s embarked on an unsupervised snorkel with his wife earlier this morning, during which he informed her he was struggling,” the statement read.
“The two made efforts to return to shore, however his wife lost sight of him and alerted island staff immediately.”
Police and RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service were alerted about 9.45am and a full search of the area and a full circuit of the island was conducted.
The snorkeller was found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated. He was declared dead by Rockhampton rescue paramedics.
Heron Island management said it was working with emergency services personnel to clarify the exact cause of death, and was co-operating fully with investigations.
“Staff and management of Heron Island extend our deepest sympathies to the wife, family and friends of the deceased and offer support to everyone at the resort affected by this event,” it said.
It is the second snorkelling incident at Heron Island in 10 days, after an elderly man had to be pulled to shore then airlifted by RACQ Capricorn Rescue on October 9.
The 74-year-old man, of Kiama in New South Wales, was snorkelling with his wife when the incident occurred.
He was pulled to the shore by his wife after ingesting water and suffering “respiratory distress”.