At Bilgola Beach.
CAUGHT BY UNDERTOW.
GALLANT RESCUE OF GIRL.
Mr. Stanley Edward Wallace, aged 39 years, was drowned, and his daughter. Phyllis Wallace, aged 14 years, was rescued with great difficulty at Bilgola Beach, near Newport, late yesterday afternoon.
Both had been carried some distance from the shore by the undertow. The father gallantly supported his daughter until she was rescued, and then collapsed. He was dead when brought ashore.
Mr. and Mrs. Wallace and their daughter, who resided at Fuller's-road, Chatswood, were picnicking at Bilgola Beach In company with friends, and there was a large crowd of other people on the beach. Shortly after 5 o'clock Mr. Wallace and his daughter began to swim about near the shore.
Suddenly the people on the beach heard a cry for help, and they saw Wallace and the girl being swept out to sea. The father was seen to catch hold of his daughter, and to make vain efforts to get free from the strong undertow.
Attracted by the cry for help, Mr. Frank R. Purcell, of Spit-road, Mosman, dashed Into the water. Although a powerful swimmer, he experienced extreme difficulty In making any headway on account of the undertow.
When he eventually reached the swimmers, who were then about 100 yards from the shore, Wallace, who was exhausted, gasped: "Take the girl."
Mr. Purcell caught hold of the girl and started towards the rocks at the end of the beach. A dozen or more men ran in that direction, and as Purcell came close to the rocks they joined hands, forming a "human rope," and, at an opportune moment, when the swimmers were caught by a large wave, the foremost man seized them, and they were assisted ashore.
The girl was unconscious, and Purcell was exhausted. Both revived after treatment by a doctor and lifesavers.
Meanwhile, efforts were being made io rescue Mr. Wallace. Two brothers named Jacobs, of Norton-street, Leichhardt, entered the water with a life-line from the rocks near where Purcell and the girl were assisted ashore, and swam towards Mr. Wallace, who was still floatlng, but slowly drifting seawards. They reached him after a desperate struggle, and, at a given signal, were hauled up to the rocks.
Dr. Bruce and others endeavoured for three hours to revive Mr. Wallace, by means of artificial respiration, but without success. His body was then taken by the Manly District Ambulance to the Manly Cottage Hospital morgue.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 2 January 1929