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Father of three drowns trying to save dad, kids

Hero dad Shaun Oliver, 32. Picture: Facebook
Hero dad Shaun Oliver, 32. Picture: Facebook

A father-of-three who drowned trying to help another dad save his four children in rough surf was today remembered as a hero who sacrficied his life "for his fellow man".

Shaun Oliver, 32, "responded to a call for help from children swept out and swam to the aid of his fellow man," his brother Nathanael wrote on a GoFundMe page today.

Hero dad Shaun Oliver, 32. Picture: Facebook
Hero dad Shaun Oliver, 32. Picture: Facebook

Mr Oliver went to the aid of a father who had managed to get his two younger children to shore, but was battling to rescue his two older children aged 10 and 12 who had got caught in a rip at Wollongong City Beach yesterday afternoon.

An off-duty paramedic at the beach pulled the 10-year-old boy to shore, while Mr Oliver reached the older boy. But the 32-year-old then got into trouble himself.

A surfer reached the pair and got the 12-year-old boy towards shore, but the man was swept out to sea.

Three police officers swam out to reach him and pulled him from the water by police and given CPR but he died in hospital.

Mr Oliver's famiy today made an emotional appeal in his memory.

"Shaun has sacrificed his future happiness and shared life with wife Carla and three beautiful children to do what none of us hope to do in this lifetime.. be tested," his brother Nathanael said.

He was given CPR but could not be saved after bravely trying to save another man’s children struggling in rough surf. Picture: 9 News Sydney
He was given CPR but could not be saved after bravely trying to save another man’s children struggling in rough surf. Picture: 9 News Sydney

The 32-year-old Victorian died in hospital. Picture: 9 News Sydney

"Sadly not long before their 10 year anniversary, Shaun was faced with an ultimatum. He chose to protect those who could not protect themselves.

"And he, and his family, have paid a heavy price."

Surf Life Saving has warned beachgoers of the dangers of the surf. "It might like picturesque and tame but there is quite a strong undercurrent and tow," a spokesman said.

"Inexperienced people need to heed the warnings and don't go into the water."

Topics:  beach drowning editors picks lifesaving

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