Little Bay Beach Could Soon Have Lifeguards

In the aftermath of a tragic drowning incident at popular yet treacherous Little Bay Beach, lifeguards are being considered, as part of efforts to address the concerns about water safety in the area.

The proposal comes after a recent internal review conducted by the council, which revealed that the Randwick LGA, home to Little Bay, has the highest coastal drowning rate in NSW. In the last ten years alone, the Randwick LGA has witnessed numerous fatalities due to drowning, and this distressing trend shows no signs of abating. 

A recent heart-wrenching incident took place on the 23rd of April, involving a man who tragically got swept into the vast ocean by a forceful wave whilst strolling along the rocky terrain with his wife.

Prompted by this devastating incident, the Coast Golf Club golfers bravely ventured down the cliffs and initiated a rescue operation. Despite their heroic efforts, the man could not be saved, highlighting the urgency for improved safety measures at Little Bay.

Amidst the alarming increase in the number of deaths, both community members and council officials are urgently demanding swift measures to guarantee the well-being of individuals visiting the beach.

At a recent council meeting, Mayor Dylan Parker acknowledged the courage of the rescuers and emphasised the need to prioritise public safety at Little Bay Beach. As part of the council’s 2022/23 Operational Plan, council officers are conducting a comprehensive review of service levels and coastal public safety, with a particular focus on Little Bay.

Lifeguards are being seriously considered as a viable solution to address the high number of drowning incidents and ensure the well-being of beach visitors.

Councillor Noel D’Souza echoed the sentiments of the community, emphasising the importance of regulating the beaches in the eastern suburbs. With the influx of visitors to these picturesque coastal areas, he said that implementing effective safety measures is paramount. 

Lifeguards not only act as a visible deterrent to potential dangers but also possess the skills and training necessary to respond swiftly to emergencies. Their presence would provide peace of mind to beachgoers and significantly reduce the risk of further tragedies.

Published 5-June-2023

Little Bay Beach Tragedy: Survivor Remembers The Day She Lost Her Husband And Son

A year after the tragedy that changed her life, Hasti Masoumi revisited Little Bay Beach, where she lost her husband Payam and her son Mahan whilst rock fishing.

Read: Rock Fishing In Maroubra: Important Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life

On 31 January 2022, the Masoumi family travelled almost two hours from Kellyville to Little Bay to spend the last day of family holidays together.

A day before their visit, they bought two rods – a kids rod for 10-year-old Mahan and a bigger rod for Payam along with some tackle. None of them could swim, which left Hasti a bit worried.

Photo credit: B. R Shrestha/Google Maps

She thought of buying a flotation device, but she only found swimming aids suitable for children learning to swim. She didn’t know rock fishing life jackets existed.

When they arrived at Little Bay beach, they head to the fishing spot known as The Gutter. This spot looks like part of the coast during low tide, but it turns into an island marooned from the mainland by a shallow trough of water at high tide.

Hasti Masoumi (Photo credit: Randwick City Council)

The family walked onto this rocky outcrop without any safety gear and fishing licence and were wearing thongs.

Hasti recalled it was a sunny day and the swell was fairly benign. She said there were no waves at the time, that she wasn’t thinking it was dangerous.

The father and son were preparing their fishing rods whilst Hasti was looking for a place to put their bucket and bags. However, everything changed in the next few seconds.

“In one second a huge wave splashed on me and everything I was carrying was thrown towards the rocks. I turned back (to where Mahan and Payam had been standing) and realised no one was there,” she said.

Photo credit: Randwick City Council

At first, she did not realise that Mahan and Payam were washed into the sea. Her husband was already very far from the rocks whilst her son was much nearer to the edge of the rocks, so she ran towards the edge.

That moment, she was torn between jumping in the water and saving Mahan or turning back and calling for help. She did the latter, a decision that she regrets.

Hasti screamed for help and the nearby fishermen called emergency services. The Council Lifeguards arrived in just 10 minutes, but it’s all too late. Mahan and Payam could not be revived.

“This trauma will live with me forever, until the last moment I’m living,” shared Hasti.

Read: Is It Time for Maroubra to Get Rid of Shark Nets?

In honour of Mahan and Payam, Randwick Council will be installing a memorial where their family can visit and pay their respects to their lost loved ones.