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Swimmer dies after rescue off Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island

A woman from the Philippines who got into trouble in a rip at Phillip Island on Sunday has died. 

The 34-year-old woman had been taken to The Alfred in a critical condition after being treated for cardiac arrest at the beach at Cape Woolamai. 

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Swimmers left critical after being caught in rip

Two people are fighting for their lives in hospital after being pulled from a surf off Phillip Island as 3AW reports.

On Monday afternoon, a police spokewoman confirmed the Filipino national had died. 

Seven swimmers had to be rescued from Cape Woolamai and five were hospitalised on Sunday night after they got in trouble in the rip.

Swimmers caught in a dangerous rip at the area were moments earlier warned to get out of knee-deep water.

The woman, along with a 34-year-old man, were treated for cardiac arrest at the beach before being flown to The Alfred hospital, both in a critical condition.


Two men were also taken by road to Wonthaggi Hospital, but one of them had since deteriorated and been taken by air to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition.

Another woman was later taken to Wonthaggi Hospital after becoming unwell.

A paramedic on the scene, Anthea, Chester said the swimmers told her they were in knee-deep water with waves up to waist height. 

"All of a sudden the ground just went from underneath them and they were getting pulled out backwards just out of the blue," Ms Chester told the ABC.

The rip rescue began just after 7pm on Sunday when 17 off-duty surf lifesavers joined the rescue.

A Life Saving Victoria statement said 15 people near the rip had been warned of the dangers but a short time later at least four people were struggling in the water.

"Two lifeguards and a surfer initially pulled two people from the water, while the other two were found floating face down up to 60 metres from the shore," a statement said.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman Paul Bentley said the seven were known to each other but it was not clear whether they were members of the same family.

Life Saving Victoria's lifesaving operations manager Greg Scott said it was a reminder of the dangers of rip currents.

"Rip currents are highly frequent and occur on all beaches," Mr Scott said.

He reminded swimmers to keep calm in a rip.

"If you're caught in a rip current stay calm, conserve your energy and call out to seek help," he said.

"If you float with the current, it may return you to a shallow sandbank.

"If you swim parallel to the beach you may escape the rip current." 

Mr Scott praised all those involved in the rescue and said counselling was being offered.