Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox has spoken about lifeguard staffing at Airlie Beach Lagoon on Sunday Afternoon.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox has spoken about lifeguard staffing at Airlie Beach Lagoon on Sunday Afternoon. Russ Benning

Mayor: Lifeguard staffing was 'above best practice'

ALL appropriate protocols regarding staffing were followed at Airlie Beach Lagoon on Sunday, according to Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox.

Cr Willcox's comments come after the drowning deaths of a 30-year-old Chinese man and his five-year-old son about 4pm on Sunday.

"The contractor Splash Pool Services, have all the necessary qualifications. There were three life savers on duty earlier in the day, due to the volume of people because of the cruise ship," he said.

"That dropped away later in the day, and less than 100 people were there at the time of the incident.

"Two lifeguards were on duty at the time of the incident, which is above best practice."

Cr Willcox said the events that transpired at the lagoon were a "tragedy".

"It's very disappointing and distressing to read some of the false information, on social media," he said.

"This is a tragic event for the Whitsundays, so people who are playing the blame game and throwing ridiculous comments out on social media, I don't think that helps anybody.

"The trouble with drowning, is that it's silent. When people slip under the water there is no noise.

"It's just a tragic accident involving a father and son.

"It's extremely distressing; to people who were there and who were involved if you're not coping, we encourage you to contact council who will put you in touch with support services."


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