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Man drowns in Christmas Day tragedy

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Emergency services were called to Newport Lakes Reserve to reports a man had gone missing while swimming in a lake off Mason St shortly after 6.30pm.The man was pulled from the water by passersby but was unable to be revived and died at the scene. A police spokesman said the victim was 29 years old. Newport resident Vikkie Chrisoulis said the drowning was a “tragedy”.“I’m really surprised that this has happened and it’s such a tragedy for this to happen on Christmas Day,” Ms Chrisoulis said.“I’ve been walking around this park for several years and it’s not common for people to swim in the lake, it’s very sad.” Newport resident Beau, who has walked around the park for more than 10 years, said he’s never seen anyone swim in the lake. “It’s not really a lake suitable for swimming, it’s really strange,” he said. “My thoughts are with the man’s family at this time, it’s devastating for our community.” Police will prepare a report for the coroner.The drowning comes just days after Life Saving Victoria issued a warning, urging people to take care on the state’s waterways during the festive period. Coastal drownings are 2.3 times more likely on public holidays and 2.4 times on long weekends and drugs or alcohol contribute to almost a third of deaths across the state.The latest death brings the drowning toll to 21 this financial year to date. Meanwhile, two men have been killed in separate crashes on Victorian roads in the past two days, marking a horror start to the Christmas holiday period.



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