Members of a Sydney surf club are in mourning following the drowning deaths of two family members during its annual river trip in northern New South Wales.

Searchers have recovered the bodies of a four-year-old girl and a 55-year-old woman.

Zac Street reports.


Flags were flying at half-mast at the North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club.

The deaths have sent shockwaves through the close-knit community.

55-year-old Jane Clithero was a member of the Club for 30 years.

David Murray, Surf Life Saving NSW: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with her in various duties on the surfcrafts. I think it affects everybody, it’s not just surf life saving, it’s our whole community.”

The other victim, four-year-old Elizabeth Tucker, is believed to be the daughter of another club member.

Around 30 members of the club were camping on the banks of Gwydir River, near Tamworth, when a boat carrying seven people capsized.

It’s believed the boat may have hit a submerged tree.

Five people, two of those believed to be the mother and father of the four-year-old, were able to get to safety.

But alarms were raised when the woman and girl didn’t reappear.

Those affected by the deaths will be offered trauma counselling.

Dean Storey, Surf Life Saving NSW: “North Narrabeen is an incredibly strong club and I’m sure that the club members will be rallying in support of each other.”

Meanwhile the bodies of three fishermen missing off the NSW South Coast have been recovered.

Police believe the boat capsized about 200 metres offshore at St Georges Basin after one of the men stood up and leant over the side.

The men weren’t wearing life jackets.

Zac Street, QUT News.