Indian man, 26, drowns in Christmas Day tragedy in Port Elliot

A harsh reminder for water safety among multicultural communities.

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In a tragic incident in Port Elliot, South Australia, an Indian man has drowned after reportedly falling off the rocks into the choppy waters at the popular beach.

Sidhardha Reddy Vaddi, 26, had recently finished his Masters in Mechanical Engineering and had moved to Adelaide last month to pursue a job as a plant operator in a manufacturing company.

Police stated that he had been brought to shore by surf life savers, but sadly he could not be revived.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to get him back to his family in Hyderabad. Since being created over a day ago, it has raised already over $70,000.

“His family is still not in a situation to go through this. But we will make sure each and every cent reaches (them),” fundraiser organiser, Sai Venkat Prabath Isukapalli told Indian Link.

Described as coming from a middle class family from Hyderabad, Sidhardha’s father works in a construction company and his mother is a homemaker.

“They had a dream for their son to graduate and succeed in life, unfortunately he is no more. So we hope his family get the life he wished by our helping hands,” the page reads.

The tragedy serves as another harsh reminder that water safety is a concern among multicultural communities here in Australia. Last year, the Indian-Australian community saw another tragedy in which two Indian national drowned at Squeaky Beach, Victoria on Christmas Day 2020. They had both come to the country as international students.

On average, 288 people drown in Australia every year, with around one in four people who drown being born overseas. The multicultural community is believed to be at greater risk of drowning due to cultural differences in water safety knowledge and swimming ability.

As temperatures rise and we head out to beaches and rivers, individuals are urged to follow water safety guidelines.

Water safety for adults

  • Never swim alone – it is important to always swim with another person
  • Check for currents or rips
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags at the beach
  • Check the conditions. Ask someone who is familiar with the area
  • Follow the advice of lifeguards or lifesavers and ask them for help if you’re unsure
  • Look for and read the water safety signs. Ask someone who speaks English to help you understand instructions
  • Take care of slippery or uneven surfaces around or in the water
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol around water
  • Be aware of your medical conditions and their impact around water
  • If you are caught in a rip or current, float on your back and travel downstream
  • If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, then float and wait for assistance. Float with a current or undertow.
  • Wear a lifejacket whenever boating, rock fishing, or using a watercraft

Water safety for children

  • Children should never be left alone when near a water body.
  • Actively supervise children around water
  • Restrict access
  • Teach water awareness
  • Learn how to resuscitate

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