A women’s fitness group has stepped in to save a young child allegedly being drowned by their father at a public beach in northern Western Australia.
It happened about 6.15am on Monday on the Dampier Foreshore, Dampier, more than 1500km north of Perth.
A group of women from Complete Life Fitness were holding a boot camp-style class on the foreshore at the time when they saw a four-wheel-drive travel along the sand, before a man got out and allegedly attempted to drown a five-year-old child in the low-tide waters.
Members of the group rushed to intervene, with a woman in her 30s punching the man and injuring her hand, before the group managed to rescue the child and call emergency services.
“It was quite traumatic and very heroic,” one member of the group said.
The child was shaken but not physically harmed.
Complete Life Fitness, self-described on their Facebook page as offering “small group fitness, circuit training, hitbox sessions,” cancelled their Tuesday morning class in the wake of the incident.
They posted on their page again on Tuesday afternoon, saying the 6am class will resume Wednesday.
“Please respect our privacy with no media presence,” reads the post.
The boy’s father was taken to hospital and charged later on Monday with attempt to murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit a crime, reckless driving, and no authority to drive.
He appeared in Karratha Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning via video link from his hospital bed, with the matter remanded for mention in Perth’s Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on September 13.
DAMPIER FORESHORE INCIDENT
Around 6:15am this morning (4 September 2023), police received reports from the community of a male attempting to drown his child at the Dampier foreshore.
— WA Police Force (@WA_Police) September 4, 2023
Dampier is an industrial port town about 19km from the larger Pilbara centre of Karratha.
It’s one of the major iron ore shipping points used by mining giant Rio Tinto.