Chilling moment mother is swept off a rocky ledge with four other relatives before drowning in front of horrified onlookers – as devastated friends pay tribute to the ‘true angel’
- Aida Hamed, 45, died after being swept off rocks along Mornington Peninsula
- Ms Hamad was among a group of four who were pulled into water on Wednesday
- The Australia Post worker remembered as a ‘true angel’ with ‘warming heart’
- She was one of three people to die in separate incidents along Victoria’s coast
A single mother-of-four who died after being swept off rocks by a large wave along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has been identified as post office worker Aida Hamed.
Ms Hamad was among four family members who were wiped off rocks at Bushrangers Bay near Cape Schanck, close to the peninsula’s southernmost point.
Two men nearby jumped into the water to assist about 3:30pm on Wednesday, police said.
But Ms Hamed, a 45-year-old Australia Post worker from Lalor in Melbourne‘s north, could not be saved.
A 45-year-old woman died after being among a group of four who were swept off rocks along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon
Aida Hamed (pictured) is being remembered as a ‘true angel’ after her death on Wednesday afternoon
The five others – two women aged 47 and 19, a 13-year-old girl and the two men aged 28 and 47 – were rescued from the water. Four of the group were taken to hospital.
‘We are deeply saddened at the passing of Aida Hamed,’ an Australia Post spokesman said in a statement to AAP.
‘We extend our deepest sympathies to Aida’s family and colleagues at this sad time.’
Friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to Ms Hamad, with one calling her ‘a true angel’.
‘No words can be said to describe the pain of losing you,’ another friend said.
‘You brought happiness to everyone that met you with your gorgeous smile and warming heart, we will miss you forever.’
One of her other friends said: ‘You will always be my sunshine, my beautiful friend. You were taken from us way too soon’.
Bushrangers Bay Beach is unpatrolled and according to Life Saving Victoria, ‘moderately safe when waves are low’.
But it warns swimmers should ‘stay on the bar and clear of the rocks and rips’.
Police said had the two men not gone in to help, more people could have died, The Age reported.
Ms Hamad (pictured) was among four people who were at Bushrangers Bay near Cape Schanck when they were swept off rocks
‘If they hadn’t done that, I think more people (would have) drowned, more people (would have) lost their life,’ Mornington Peninsula Local Area Commander Inspector Janene Denton said.
Ms Hamad was one of three people to die in separate incidents along Victoria’s coast on Wednesday.
The second death was at Venus Bay in Gippsland.
A woman in her 20s was pulled from the water after going in to help save a teenage girl who was seen struggling to swim.
An off-duty lifeguard performed CPR but the woman could not be saved.
The third death was that of a man in his 80s, brought to shore unconscious at the popular Rye Front Beach in Tootgarook, also on Wednesday afternoon.
All three incidents will be investigated by a coroner.
Lifesaving Victoria general manager Liam Krige encouraged members of the public to swim between the flags and warned against immediately trying to rescue others.
The group were at Bushrangers Bay near Cape Schanck (pictured) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon when tragedy struck
‘We would urge all bystanders to, if they see someone in difficulty, dial triple zero and request the correct resources to help,’ he told ABC Radio on Thursday.
‘Don’t take the sea for granted – it can be a dangerous, albeit beautiful place.’
Mr Krige added that the easing of coronavirus restrictions heading into summer could have contributed to Victoria’s record number of drownings in the past six months.
‘People probably aren’t as fit as they used to be… their abilities probably aren’t what they thought,’ he said.
Meanwhile, a three-year-old girl was found unresponsive at Lysterfield Lake in suburban Narre Warren about 5.50pm on Wednesday.
She was rescued from the water and taken to hospital in a critical condition.
A police investigation has been launched into the incident.