Market crowd ‘in complete shock’ as drowning rescue unfolded
Stall holders at a popular Coast market have described the shock felt as emergency services rushed to help a drowning victim at a nearby beach.
The best efforts of lifeguards and paramedics failed to save a man who was pulled from the water at Peregian Beach on Sunday morning.
Surf Life Saving Queensland confirmed the swimmer was pulled from the water around 10.30am, north of the patrolled area.
They attempted to resuscitate the man but were unsuccessful.
The Peregian Beach Market was in full swing at the time of the incident, with many unaware of what was unfolding on the sands below until ambulance crews arrived.
"There was not a single inkling (as to the incident) and it was completely normal until a lifesaver came up screaming at everyone to move," Beyond Honey stallholder Claudia Ellis said.
"This place was absolutely packed and there were so many people coming through and all of sudden he (lifesaver) came tearing through and the ambulance came over and two more cars came through.
"It was really insane and there was so many people trying to help out as much as they could.
"I felt cold and shaky because I felt so sorry for this poor man that had that happen to him.
"It was really scary, the whole atmosphere, the entire markets just stopped and no one was trading, (everyone was) just in complete shock."
Her partner Cooper tried to help emergency services and lifeguards where he could.
"I took water down to the guys who were working on him," he said.
"They were probably working on him for a good 45 minutes in the heat.
"They tried everything they could."
Duty officer Sebastien de Paula told the Daily that it had been a "very traumatising and sad" incident.
"There were lots of people around, the markets are on, it's a particularly busy day," he said.
"(The swimmer) was assisted by another man who raised the alarm (to lifeguards).
"Conditions are particularly unstable with lots of rips outside the flagged area."