Father and Son Lifesavers Die While Rescuing Tourist

Australian pair's boat flipped
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2019 1:26 AM CDT
The incident occurred near Victoria state's Twelve Apostles limestone formation.   (Wikimedia Commons/Larry Haydn)

(Newser) – Lifesavers across Australia paused for a minute's silence Monday to honor a father and son who died while trying to rescue a tourist on Easter Sunday. Ross Powell, 71, and son Andrew, 32, both volunteer lifesavers, drowned after their boat was flipped in heavy surf conditions, the BBC reports. A rescue helicopter saved a third man from the boat as well as the 30-year-old tourist, who had been swept out to sea after wading at the mouth of the Sherbrook River near Port Campbell, southwest of Melbourne. The tourist, who suffered hypothermia, was hospitalized in stable condition. Rescued lifesaver Phil Younis was seriously injured but was listed in stable condition after surgery.

"Surf lifesavers are selfless & brave," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, offering "deepest sympathies" to the men's family and friends. Ross and Andrew Powell, both dairy farmers, were members of Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club. The family said in a statement that Andrew's wife, Amber, is expecting their first child in August, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. "We will miss our beautiful, big-hearted Andy and we're so proud of the person he was—gentle, compassionate, loving, and selfless—like his father," the family said. They added that Ross Powell received a Royal Humane Society Bravery Award for taking part in a rescue in the area on Easter Sunday 1980. (Read more Australia stories.)

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