Friends of a married couple who died after getting caught in a rip at a beach on the NSW Central Coast are raising money for their three orphaned children, two of whom have special needs.
Matthew and Kathryn died despite the efforts of bystanders and paramedics performing CPR after they were pulled unconscious from the water at Frazer Beach on the Central Coast on Wednesday.
The couple were at the unpatrolled beach with their autistic five-year-old daughter, Amelia, when Kathryn got caught in a rip.
Her husband Matthew rushed into the water to try to save her, leaving Amelia on the beach screaming for help, 7News reported.
Surfers went rescue the pair but they died at the scene.
A GoFundMe campaign has now been launched by their friends Chelsea Wilson and Natalie Mulhall to raise money for the couple’s funeral and their children.
The couple are survived by their three children, Matthew’s 13-year-old daughter Abigail and their two younger children Gary and Amelia.
Their son Gary, 10, was born with a disability that causes him to have seizures which has left him wheelchair-bound and in need of full-time care.
“We are looking to raise money for the cost of the funerals and also to help care for and support these beautiful children that have been left behind,” the GoFundMe stated.
“Please donate what you can, every cent counts.
“All proceeds will be going towards the cost of the funerals and the children.”
Matthew and Kathryn’s fundraiser has already reached $1725 of its $20,000 goal at the time of publication.
Tuggerah Lakes Police District are investigating the deaths and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.
Their deaths took the known number of drownings around the country to 55 this summer, according to Surf Life Saving Australia.