A tragic accident at a popular swimming hole in the New South Wales Hunter region has given travellers yet another reminder of how dangerous Australia’s natural beauty spots can be.
Mother-of-three Clare Lannen had gone to Ladies Well on the Allyn River with her grey nomad parents, Bob and Margaret Richardson. The caravan-loving couple had been planning to camp in the area.
However, an idyllic picnic lunch tuned into a nightmare when the couple’s 44-year-old daughter lost her balance while trying to dip her toe in the water, and toppled into the river. The current was strong from recent rainfall and the rocks were slippery. The Newcastle Herald reports that, within seconds, Mrs Lannen was pulled down a waterfall, falling three metres. She was then thrown around in a ‘whirlpool’ of water.
Her father jumped in to try to save her.
“When I got to her in the water, I was being pulled down by this whirlpool effect,” Mr Richardson told the Newcastle Herald. “It was sucking me down and I could see I was pulling her down so I let her go and struggled to get to the top myself. That’s when another young man dived in and dragged her to the shore.”
With the help of others, Mr Richardson carried out CPR for about 40 minutes while the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and an ambulance were on their way.
Mr Richardson’s eldest daughter was pronounced dead when emergency services arrived.