Man Drowns Trying to Save Child Who Fell in Rapids Near Waterfall

A man has died after attempting to save a child who fell into rapids near a Waterfall in Australia, according to police.

Queensland Police said the49-year-old, who has not been publicly named, drowned after he jumped in to save a child who had fallen into the water at Wappa Falls, a scenic location 68 miles north of Brisbane.

In a statement shared on its website late on Sunday night, local time, a Queensland Police spokesperson said he "drowned after attempting to assist a child who fell."

"Emergency services were called to the location off Pump Station Road around 2 p.m. following reports a man had disappeared after diving in to rescue a child that had fallen into the waterfall area.

"The child was pulled to safety and was transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital for observation."

Police divers discovered the man's body about four and a half hours later, they added.

Wappa Falls is a popular scenic location that people visit to see its twin waterfalls that plunge down into a pool.

Newsweek has contacted Queensland Police for comment.

According to Australia's News 9, the death comes after the body of a 15-year-old boy was found in a New South Wales (NSW) river after he went missing on New Year's Eve.

The body was later recovered by divers on New Year's Day and a report is being prepared for the coroner, according to the network.

Lifeguards have responded to dozens of incidents over the festive period as Australians flock to beaches and other pools of water as the country enjoys the southern hemisphere's summer.

Ahead of an expected increase in people heading to the coast, Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman issued a warning to beach visitors.

In a statement shared on the Surf Life Saving website, he said: "The New Year period has always been one of the busiest on our beaches, and with many people having to make significant changes to their plans, we are preparing for large crowds along the coastline."

Wiseman added people might be keen to visit the beach following strict lockdowns in the country, but that the sea could be hazardous this time of year.

He later added: "It's the uncertain conditions which presents difficulties for our lifesavers in terms of how to prepare for what might happen," said Joel Wiseman.

"There's pent-up desire to get out and enjoy the outdoors after a year of lockdowns and many people are moving around the state and visiting coastal holiday spots that they may not be familiar with.

"It's a high-risk time and we implore everyone to heed surf safety advice and amend their activities to suit the conditions."

Photo of Wappa Falls
Wappa falls and Rockpool overflowing into the South Maroochy river, SE Queensland Australia. The man died after jumping in the water to rescue the child. Getty